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Purchasing companies adjust to tariff troubles

NATIONAL REPORT—Just as tariffs have been a hot topic in the national news, they have also been front and center for hospitality purchasing companies, which have seen the effects on the industry firsthand.

Leslie Tishman, president, Grace Purchasing, in Richmond, VA, has begun sourcing from countries other than China, which, as of press time, had a 25% tariff on certain goods—and has found better prices.

Leslie Tishman
Grace Purchasing

“We are working on a new hotel project, and we were pricing out Axminster carpets; I received quotes from one manufacturer that produces everything in China and another company that is producing in Egypt, and the cost savings in terms of Egyptian looms is significant,” she said.

The price difference in the base cost ended up being $4 per square yard. “When you translated that to the quality and looked at the bottom-line numbers, it was a fairly significant number,” said Tishman. “The quality is very comparable between these two companies. They are both top-tier hospitality producers, so I would not have made a decision or recommendation based just on their design capabilities or their reputation in the industry. It really did come down to the differential of price.”

Tishman noted that this was one of the first times she had been comparison shopping since the tariffs were enacted. “The company had actually mentioned in its comments that they had had a slight price increase,” she said. “That was, for me, when it really resonated as a real factor that it is having an impact on FF&E specs. It certainly encouraged us to think about who has looms in Europe, so we can avoid the concentration of looms that are in China right now, and help our clients get the same quality product for less.”

Tammy Miller, president/founder of Alternate Resources in Hartsdale, NY, has also been sourcing from countries other than China, including domestically. “We, personally, have been doing a lot of domestic sourcing…of wherever we can get things, and trying to work with our vendors to address the price issue so that it is not significantly more,” she said. “It has become more realistic. There are also vendors here that have stocked up their warehouses with a lot of merchandise, so we don’t have those issues. They are honoring the lower prices without the tariffs. I think the industry stood ready for this for a long time and has addressed a lot of things around it.”

Tammy Miller
Alternate Resources

Tishman has been looking at domestic items as well. “We like doing things domestically,” she said. “It makes a lot more sense with the time line, and you can negotiate budgets based on volume. Sometimes, you have a closer relationship with the actual factory that is making the goods.”

Lori Patten, principal/founder, Patten Purchasing, in Yorkville, IL, has noticed that prices between goods manufactured in China and those manufactured domestically are coming in line with one another. “The medium-quality vendors think that they can get close to the China prices,” she said.

Miller is concerned about the quality of items now that some vendors have moved factories from China to other countries. “The vendor response is that they are moving it out of China, to places like Malaysia or Vietnam,” she said. “Ten years ago, China had all kinds of quality-control issues because the factories were all new, the staffing wasn’t all right, the quality wasn’t right. There were tons and tons of issues. Now, you are 10 years into that cycle, and it has been drastically improved. Now, you go to a new country and you build a new factory, and you are out of the tariff situation, but you still have a good learning curve just to get the quality and the quantity output of what you need to be successful. We, as purchasing agents, are very nervous about those answers right now.”

Lori Patten Patten Purchasing

Foresight also comes into play. For instance, Patten has been preparing for the tariffs for some time. “Because people knew it was coming, we had to pad budgets ahead of time for it,” she said. “For bids we are getting now for the future, we are making sure that everything is covered; in September, when it was the 10% tariff, some of our vendors actually offered to take care of some of the percentage so the owners would have to pay 2% and they were paying 8%. Vendors I have worked with have been more than accommodating, but now it seems like it is going to get a lot worse.”

Tishman reports that she has heard from several vendors that have added a surcharge since the tariffs on China increased from 10% to 25%. “I think we are going to shift to companies that are producing in countries other than China,” she said. “They are probably going to see a bump in their business for no other reason than that people are avoiding the tariff impact.” HB

Purchasing Companies

All types: Economy; Limited-service; Midscale; Upscale;
Luxury; Resort; Timeshare; Extended-stay
n/a = information was not available

Based on surveys submitted to Hotel Business

Alternate Resources
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Resorts World Catskills, Monticello, NY; Hilton Garden Inn, Frederick, MD; Best Western, Rutland, VT
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E,Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Tammy Miller, founder/president

Benjamin West
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point, Baltimore, MD; Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, GA; Loews Kansas City Convention Center Hotel, Kansas City, MO
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, F&B, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Alan Benjamin, president

Blue Sky Furnishings LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Holiday Inn Express, Atlanta, GA; Hampton Inn, Gaffney, SC; Hampton Southlake, Morrow, GA
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E,  OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Dan Mills, managing  partner

The Carroll Adams Group LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: The Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center, Aurora, CO; Bobby Hotel, Nashville, TN; 21c Museum Hotel Nashville, Nashville, TN
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Ted Carroll, president

Commercial Interior Decor Inc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Lakeview Best Western Plus, Madison, SD; Hotel 100 Phillips,
 Sioux Falls, SD; Best Western Plus, Ramkota, Sioux Falls, SD
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E, F&B,  Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Doug Roby, CEO
 

Complete Procurement Services LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: n/a
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Gary Schnatterfly, owner

Creo Hospitality
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Courtyard by Marriott Manhattan Midtown, New York, NY; Aliz HotelTimes Square, New York, NY; Hyatt Place, Pasadena, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Economy, Limited-service, Midscale, Upscale, Resort, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Jonathan Lopez, project director, East Coast

D Hospitality
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Delta, Allentown, PA; Sheraton, Columbus, OH; DoubleTree by Hilton, Appleton, WI
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Midscale, Upscale, Luxury, Resort, Timeshare, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Dae Oh, CEO

Furniture Industries
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Indigo Hotel, Madison, WI; Compass by Margaritaville, St. Marie Sound, FL; Element by Westin, Minneapolis, MN
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E,  Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Marc Gensler, director   

Grace Purchasing
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club, Durham, NC; Millstone Manor, Richmond, VA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: Upscale, Luxury, Resort
TOP EXECUTIVE: Leslie Tishman, president 

GScf Furnishings
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Fairfield Inn & Suites, Plymouth, MA; Hampton Inn & Suites, Thomaston, ME; Residence Inn, Concord, NH
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Jim Mirabella, president

Hatch Purchasing Corporation
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: The Sound Hotel – Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Seattle, WA; Embassy Suites by Hilton, Seattle Tacoma International Airport, WA; Courtyard by Marriott, Gresham, OR
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Sean Hatch, president 

Hersha Purchasing & Design
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Cadillac Hotel, Miami Beach, FL; DoubleTree by Hilton, Youngstown, OH ; Parrot Key Resort, Key West, FL
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E,  F&B
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Vince Coppola, president 

Hill & Hill Procurement
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Grand Stay, OR; Comfort Inn, AK; Hilton Garden Inn, OR
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E, F&B, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: Economy, Limited-service, Midscale, Upscale, Resort, Timeshare,Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Holly Hill, VP, business  development

Hospitalilty Furnishings & Design Inc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Cambria, Omaha, NE; Ascend – Grand Boutique, New Orleans, LA;La Quinta Downtown, Raleigh, NC
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Economy, Limited-service, Midscale,Upscale, Luxury, Resort, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Randy Choplin, president/CEO

Hospitalilty Merchandising LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Hotel Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA; LA Peer, Los Angeles, CA;The Sands, Indian Wells, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, F&B,Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Sham Beach, president  

Hospitality Purchasing Consultants
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: S’Astore Local, Sardinia, Italy; Harrah’s New Orleans, New Orleans, LA; Sheraton Sable Oaks, Portland, ME
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Steven Angelier, partner   

HPG International LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Hyatt Regency Seattle, Seattle, WA; JW Marriott Monterey, Monterey, Mexico; Sheraton Denver Downtown, Denver, CO
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E,  F&B,Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Benjamin H. O’Connor, president

IGroup Design Inc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Sycuan Casino, San Diego, CA; DoubleTree by Hilton, Phoenix, AZ; Hilton, Los Angeles, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Midscale, Upscale, Luxury, Resort, Timeshare, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Roger Storer, principal  

Innvision Design Studio
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Hampton Inn & Suites, Sparks, NV; Cambria Suites, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Hotel Indigo Crossroads, Kansas City, MO
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
Chris Parker, president 

Integrated Services Corp.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Ace Hotel, New York, NY; Cambria Suites, Orlando, FL; Fairfield Inn, San Francisco, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Ira Laurence Slade,  president

Jaguar Hospitality Services Corp.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Canopy by Hilton, Dallas, TX; NY LaGuardia Airport Marriott, E. Elmhurst, NY; Hyatt Regency, Louisville, KY
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Jacob Fruth, CEO 

LRG/Lori Rausch Group
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Reserve Club, Indian Wells, CA; Knife Pleat, Costa Mesa, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Limited-service, Upscale, Luxury, Resort
TOP EXECUTIVE: Lori Rausch, president 

Martin Stringfellow Associates
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Ritz-Carlton, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; JW Marriott San Antonio, San Antonio, TX; The Carlyle – A Rosewood Hotel, New York, NY
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, F&B
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Martin Stringfellow,  president

Miller & Co.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah, GA; The Elizabeth Hotel – Autograph Collection, Ft. Collins, CO; Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Reno, NV
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, F&B
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Rebecca Miller, president 

Neil Locke & Associates
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Crossroads Hotel, Kansas City; MO; Thompson Zihuataneo, Zihuataneo, Mexico; Cyrus, Topeka, KS
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Neil Locke, principal 

The Parker Company
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Conrad Hotel, Washington, DC; JW Marriott Marco Island,  Marco Island, FL; Ritz-Carlton Central Park, New York, NY
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Limited-service, Midscale, Upscale, Luxury, Resort, Timeshare, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Doug Parker, president/CEO 

Patten Purchasing LLC
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino, San Juan, PR; Cincinnati Marriott at Rivercenter, Covington, KY; Hotel Indigo Flushing, Flushing, NY
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E, F&B, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Lori Patten, principal   

Planning Plus International
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Ocean Rose Inn, Narragansett, RI; Postcard Inn, St. Pete Beach, FL
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, F&B, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: Economy, Midscale, Upscale, Luxury, Resort
TOP EXECUTIVE: Barbara Perrin, president 

Purchasing Management International
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: InterContinental Wilshire Grand Hotel, Los Angeles, CA; Live! Casino & Hotel, Baltimore, MD; The Sinclair – Autograph Collection, Ft. Worth, TX
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: Limited-service, Midscale, Upscale, Luxury, Resort, Timeshare, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Bill Langmade, 
president/CEO

Purchasing Partners  Inc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Home2 Suites, Richmond Hill, GA; Hyatt House, Herndon, VA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Economy, Limited-service, Midscale, Extended-stay
TOP EXECUTIVE: Roger Treadaway, principal

Ramsey & Assoc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, CA; InterContinental Hotel, San Francisco, CA; Pebble Beach, Monterey County, CA
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E
HOTELS SERVICED: Upscale, Luxury, Resort
TOP EXECUTIVE: Jennifer Ramsey, president

Seiden & Company Inc.
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Riu Paradise Island, Bahamas; Riu Ocho Rios, Jamaica
SERVICES OFFERED: FF&E, OS&E, Installation
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Mike Seiden, president

Vertically Integrated Projects
TOP 2018 PROJECTS: Virginia Crossings – Tapestry Collection, Glen Allen, VA; Hampton Inn and Suites, Burr Ridge, IL; Fairfield Inn & Suites, Shawnee, KS
SERVICES OFFERED: Design, FF&E, OS&E
HOTELS SERVICED: All types
TOP EXECUTIVE: Greg Kadens, CEO 


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