Theodore Alexander expands Vietnam manufacturing footprint

Company’s goal is to meet ongoing demand and reduce lead times by as much as 40% by the end of this year

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam – An expansion of Theodore Alexander’s case goods production here that taken place over the past year and a half is expected to boost output in a way that gets products in the hands of customers a lot more quickly.

Since late 2020, the company said it has added three new plants to its manufacturing footprint in the region. While declining to reveal how much square footage this has represented in total, officials said the goal has been to increase output by double digits in excess of 20%.

“We have increased our manufacturing footprint significantly through new signed leases where we have added three new plants and will look to add more when suitable locations become available,” Ed Teplitz, president of Theodore Alexander North America, told Home News Now.

The outside of the Theodore Alexander plant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The goal is to lower lead times by 25% by the middle of the third quarter and 40% by year end, Teplitz said.

“At this time, we’re focused on scaling our production for our existing lines and orders,” he told Home News Now. “Our current orders and customers are our top priority and we’re laser focused on reducing the lead times, and ensuring that product quality continues to be industry leading, as expected from TA.”

While most of the latest expansion has been ongoing since late 2020, it came online during a particularly challenging summer as plants throughout the country were closed or operating at reduced capacity due to a country-wide Covid-19 shutdown.

Theodore Alexander managed to operate with limited capacity during this period as many workers stayed on site. However, like others, it also has had challenges getting some raw materials, which caused some challenges during and immediately following the shutdown.

The country and its manufacturing base have managed to get back on firmer footing since reopening early last fall, not only reopening production, but also operating at higher levels of capacity.

Theodore Alexander also has resumed normal operations, reaping the benefits of its expansion effort.

While the company declined to say how much it has spent on the expansion, Teplitz said that it has represented an eight-figure investment.

“We have made significant capex investment across building and equipment in order to increase the productivity of workers and the efficiency of use of space,” he noted.

The investment also is timely as the company has seen double-digit increases in demand from around the world. In 2021 alone, it had a 50% increase in orders from the U.S.

“We’ve seen significant growth in all of our global businesses, including the U.S.,” Teplitz said, noting that the company is scaling production to meet the demand of existing customers. “The additional production capacity will help cover a good portion of this global growth.”

While the company is not expecting to come anywhere near that type of increase this year, it still expects growth to outpace pre-pandemic growth levels of roughly 5% to 7%.

“There are so many variables,” Teplitz said. “If we had better stock, we would see nice double-digit growth. Again, it depends on how much we catch up. We are certainly looking for growth this year, certainly more than prepandemic.”

In addition to its own facilities the company also uses outside factories that help produce components specifically for Theodore Alexander. While the company declined to say how many of these plants it uses currently – the number Teplitz said can be a moving target – they remain an important part of the mix. They also free up capacity in the main TA production facilities..

“As we scale to meet demand, we have invested to build partner factories which produce components exclusively for us,” he said. “We are still very active in overseeing these facilities as well as providing a portion of the component parts from our factory in order to ensure TA quality. This is a unique strategy implemented by TA, and one of the ways we have pushed to enable our supply chain to scale faster.”

Without revealing specific numbers of employees at present, the company also is looking to increase its work force by 30% in the next few months, potentially adding several hundred workers to the mix.

“This is very challenging in this environment to find the appropriate and necessary labor, and will take several months,” Teplitz said.

But even with those additional workers, the company expects further expansion in the months and years ahead as demand warrants.

“Expansion has not stopped since our current owners purchased TA in 2016,” Teplitz noted. “Every year we face new demand challenges, which all require expansion. We expect expansion to continue for the foreseeable future.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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