This is the first installment of a special e-newsletter series sponsored by Rosenthal & Rosenthal, the leading factoring, asset based lending and purchase order financing firm in the United States. Joel Wolitzer, senior vice president of business development at Rosenthal, breaks down key credit and financing challenges for the housewares industry heading into 2021.
By Joel Wolitzer
Senior Vice President of Business Development
Rosenthal & Rosenthal
Rosenthal has supported clients through market upswings and recessions, helping them navigate everything from burdensome cash flow constraints and credit restrictions, to retail bankruptcies and supply chain disruptions. Our housewares clients find that working with a partner like Rosenthal offers the kind of flexibility, credit protection and working capital they need to ride out this unpredictable period and beyond.
As we round out 2020, I wanted to share a few insights on what we’ve been seeing and what to look out for as we move into 2021.
EXPOSURES & EXTENDED TERMS
Growth across the housewares sector this year has been off the charts, even with unexpected COVID-related disruptions. Most businesses are barely keeping up with demand and have had to focus much more on inventory management to ensure they’re not left with excess or off-season product.
Given the current environment, many large retailers have extended payment terms to 90 days, leaving some companies to wonder whether this is a temporary shift or a trend that will stick around. Housewares companies, especially those that lack credit protection or credit insurance, now require larger credit lines and working capital financing against receivables to support extended terms or delayed payments from retailers.
Rosenthal is able to help businesses mitigate risk and secure the best credit terms they can in this challenging market.
CASH FLOW CONCERNS
While scrambling to fulfill an influx of new orders can be good for growth, delayed payments from customers, primarily big box and off-price retailers, have created an additional burden for many of our clients. As a result, otherwise healthy companies now face increased credit risk, coverage restrictions and cash flow constraints.
We’re also seeing more and more direct-to-consumer businesses that are healthy and bank-financed. However, may need inventory financing or asset based loans to help with cash flow.
All of this is happening at a time when banks are assessing their losses and re-evaluating their portfolios. Stability is the key to survival to right now, and knowing your options is more important than ever.
Along with providing credit protection – a must-have in this environment – Rosenthal offers a range of alternative financing solutions such as factoring, asset-based lending and purchase order financing to help companies alleviate cash flow strain and fulfill orders with retailers. Flexible working capital facilities against inventory and other forms of collateral can also help direct-to-consumer companies invest in innovation, technology and new channels to market.
Since the onset of COVID, overseas suppliers have stepped up their prepayment requirements, adding another layer of risk to an already complex supply chain. As a result, many housewares companies have turned to purchase order funders to help them navigate complicated supplier relationships, issue letters of credit in place of risky prepayments to suppliers and help fund direct labor costs and materials for domestic manufacturers. With Chinese New Year just around the corner, we expect supplier prepayment requirements to continue well into 2021, so having a financial partner that can ease that burden moving forward will be critical.
Rosenthal’s purchase order financing facilities help companies address their cash flow issues, while also ensuring a seamless flow of product from overseas suppliers and smooth delivery to retail customers.
Rosenthal & Rosenthal, privately held and led by the Rosenthal family for more than 80 years, has offices in New York, California, Georgia and North Carolina. Email [email protected] or visit Rosenthalinc.com for more on Rosenthal’s retail credit and financing solutions.