Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Appliances in low stock as retailers struggle with pandemic- addled supply chain

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Renée Van Vlack didn’t know she’d have a tough time finding a new refrigerator when her old one died.

“It doesn’t have the door [handle] but that’s fine with me,” Vlack said.

The Fort Myers shopper said she doesn’t have time to wait for a specific fridge to come in.

“I went to the food store yesterday not knowing this was going to happen… The stuff is just waiting for me to do something about it. The milk, the eggs,” she said.

Local Appliance stores have reported shortages starting back in spring.

“People thought the world was going to end so they were stocking up, stocking up, stocking up,” said Jay Russo, owner of Good Deals in Fort Myers. “To give you an example, freezers. In two days we sold more freezers than we do in two years.”

He said the problem has only escalated.

“When the world shut down everybody was down. The manufacturers weren’t building anything for about a whole month,” Russo said.

Some products are on such a big backlog that customers who want specific styles or brands have to wait much longer than normal.

Furniture stores report experiencing a shortage too. Four local stores said products have been hard to come by. Furniture Concepts said a pre-pandemic delivery may take two weeks to deliver. Now, some customers are waiting two months.

Russo doesn’t expect things to improve until next year, at the end of their second quarter. Until then, they’re working with what they have. They’re offering loaner appliances and delivery services, but mostly just trying to catch up, placing orders aggressively every day.

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