Why Is Ethan Allen Furniture So Expensive? – A Closer Look

Ethan Allen is a high-end furniture retailer known for its classic American style and premium materials. From living rooms to dining rooms, Ethan Allen designs embody timeless elegance and quality craftsmanship. But this luxury comes at a price – Ethan Allen furniture does not come cheap.

Below we’ll explore the key reasons why Ethan Allen commands such high prices compared to other furniture retailers.

Reasons For Ethan Allen Furniture Being So Expensive

Here are those reasons:

  • Superior Materials and Construction
  • Made in North America
  • Customization Options
  • Large Showroom Footprint
  • Massive Distribution Network
  • Research & Development Budget
  • Powerful Brand Reputation

Let’s elaborate these reasons in detail.

  • Superior Materials and Construction
Ethan Allen's New Collection

One of the biggest factors affecting the price of Ethan Allen furniture is the excellent materials and construction used. Ethan Allen uses solid hardwoods like cherry, maple, and oak in crafting their furniture frames and other components.

These dense woods are more expensive but also more durable and resistant to warping or cracking over time.

Ethan Allen artisans hand finish and check the fit and finish of furniture parts before final assembly. Drawers feature dovetail joinery and smooth rolling action.

Tables and chairs incorporate mortise and tenon joinery, an older woodworking technique that creates very sturdy furniture. Dense foam and quality fabrics cover the seats and backs of Ethan Allen upholstered pieces.

This level of material selection and hand-craftsmanship results in furniture built to last for decades, but also drives up costs. Ethan Allen’s products simply contain more raw materials and skilled labor hours than mass-produced budget furniture.

  • Made in North America

While many retailers import ready-to-assemble furniture made in China or other countries with lower manufacturing costs, Ethan Allen proudly manufactures most of its products in the United States and Canada.

Producing locally allows for stricter quality control during the construction process. But made-in-North America operating costs including worker wages, healthcare, equipment expenses and energy bills are significantly higher than in the developing world.

So Ethan Allen’s choice to manufacture domestically also increases prices to the end consumer.

  • Customization Options
Vintage Ethan Allen Classic Furniture

Ethan Allen is known for its huge selection of customizable upholstery.

Customers can select from hundreds of style and fabric options to create a truly one-of-a-kind living room set, dining chair, accent chair or other upholstered piece.

The retailer offers both leather and fabric options across a range of grades from performance fabrics to ultra-premium top grain leathers.

All of this customization adds costs for the raw materials themselves. More importantly, it requires skilled artisans and craftspeople to cut, sew, upholster and finish each custom piece by hand.

This custom work scales up the human labor hours involved versus producing cookie-cutter furniture in mass quantities. So customization options drive up the costs and retail prices.

  • Large Showroom Footprint

The Ethan Allen shopping experience centers around its network of 300 showrooms located throughout the United States. Shoppers can browse dozens of fully staged room displays and receive one-on-one design consultation.

This high-touch retail environment is a big brand differentiator but also increases costs.

Showrooms themselves have expensive real estate costs, especially for sought-after mall locations. Each showroom also needs large delivery warehouses attached to store all the products, vignettes and samples required to fill up the cavernous 10,000+ square foot showrooms.

The enormous showroom spaces must be rented, maintained and staffed with knowledgeable design consultants. These costs amount to a significant operating expense that Ethan Allen factors into its retail prices.

Those without a massive real estate footprint simply don’t face the same costs to run their businesses.

  • Massive Distribution Network

Getting Ethan Allen furniture from manufacturing facilities to the 300+ stores and then to customer homes requires an enormous distribution and delivery operation.

Most retailers simply ship furniture to stores in bulk. But Ethan Allen goes further, operating its own network of trucks, transit centers and home delivery teams.

This allows Ethan Allen to individually track every order and handle the entire delivery process with white glove service. But running transports daily to all corners of the country and handling home deliveries with professional crews is a hugely expensive logistical operation.

Ethan Allen builds these distribution costs directly into the prices on its products.

  • Research & Development Budget

Ethan Allen employs teams of interior designers and product developers who create new collections and styles each year. This helps the brand stay current with the latest trends.

But there are significant costs involved in research and design to release new furniture collections for every season and keep up fresh showroom displays.

The company invests millions every year into its in-house design division. All of the product prototyping, testing, and market research must be funded. While competitors can sometimes mimic current popular styles, Ethan Allen is at the forefront actually defining many of those emerging trends thanks to its substantial R&D budget.

  • Powerful Brand Reputation

After nearly 100 years in business, Ethan Allen has established itself as a luxury furniture brand shoppers can trust. The retailer has spent tremendous sums on advertising via magazines, online, catalogs, mailers and in showrooms to build this premium brand identity.

The widely recognized Ethan Allen name carries clout that competitors without the same brand recognition simply can’t command.

The retailer knows its target demographic inside and out. Ethan Allen intelligently positions its products at a premium price point to reinforce that feeling of exclusivity. So to some degree, customers pay for the status associated with owning this aspirational brand just as much as the furniture itself.

Ethan Allen has strategically priced itself to capture these buyers who place real value on its name and reputation.

Why It’s Worth Paying More For Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen Sofa

While less expensive than alternatives, Ethan Allen furniture does come at a relatively high cost. But that pricing accurately reflects the materials, construction, customization, brand reputation and so on.

Consumers investing in Ethan Allen are buying quality items designed to become family heirlooms passed down through generations.

In today’s era of bargains and mass production, few brands are able to command a true premium. For those who appreciate confident design, artisanal craftsmanship, and lasting value Ethan Allen remains a worthwhile investment that stands apart from disposable budget furniture.

Going with Ethan Allen may mean paying more upfront, but its pieces deliver enduring enjoyment and sophistication for decades to come.

Ethan Allen Furniture FAQ

Is Ethan Allen furniture good quality?

Yes, Ethan Allen is known for excellent quality furniture constructed from solid hardwoods, with precise joinery and hand-crafted finishing. Every piece is checked for quality craftsmanship and performance during manufacturing. The superior materials and construction allow Ethan Allen furniture to last for years with proper care.

What is comparable to Ethan Allen?

Some brands with comparable quality and styles to Ethan Allen include Baker, Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Hooker Furniture, Lane Home Furnishings, Bernhardt Furniture Company, and Maitland-Smith. Restoration Hardware also offers similar high-end furnishings. While not exactly the same, these brands provide furniture of comparable construction, materials and classic American style to Ethan Allen in a similar price range.

Is Ethan Allen furniture real wood?

Yes, Ethan Allen uses real, natural wood in crafting their frames and components. This includes oak, maple, cherry, and other solid hardwoods rather than cheaper engineered woods or processed composites. Using real wood comes at higher costs but results in more durable, natural-looking furniture capable of becoming family heirlooms.

What is Ethan Allen furniture known for?

Ethan Allen is best known for its classic American style furniture featuring elegant styling with innovative details. Collections are crafted using solid woods, with clean lines and proportions, and custom options for fabrics and finishes. Ethan Allen is especially renowned for upholstered items including sofas, chairs, headboards and chaises where quality materials and craftsmanship stand out. They offer style, personalization, and quality construction setting them apart from other retailers.

Wrapping Up

Ethan Allen’s high prices accurately reflect the superior materials, craftsmanship, and design that goes into each of its luxury furniture pieces. From hardwood frames to custom upholstery options, Ethan Allen’s products stand out in a market increasingly dominated by mass-produced disposable furniture.

While the prices may cause sticker shock at first, Ethan Allen furniture is built to become family heirlooms passed down across generations. For many consumers, investing in these timeless designs that merge style, comfort, and quality is well worth the premium cost.

Ethan Allen has earned its reputation for high-end furniture that lasts.

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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