Should have seen this
blow-up coming. Guess I just got gaffed by the
principle -- I like the stores.
When Restoration Hardware came public, the head of the operation came on "Squawk" when I was co-host. He was going to do things differently: no comp numbers, no willy-nilly growth.
Looks like they are doing things differently, all right. Differently as in badly. And willy-nilly growth seems to be behind the problems.
Why should I have had this one on the short side? Because the furniture division caused the problem. We wanted to get a new bed. We are so used to either
, which is dirt-cheap and we build it, or
, which has superior service and great pricing and almost immediate delivery, that we were blown away when Restoration Hardware said they were out of everything and it would be "weeks" before they could deliver it. Weeks as in four to five weeks. That's not the new American way. That's the bad old '80s American way.
But we like the merchandise so much that I didn't think to bang the thing out on the short side.
Wrong! Now, who the heck knows. Down 10, I wanted to buy; Berko said forget about it. Can't stop thinking about that bed order.
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund had no positions in the stocks mentioned, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at