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Pandemic continues to disrupt appliance supply chain | Somerset

Homeowners who are trying to replace all of their kitchen appliances might have to wait a while to complete the new look.

Appliance dealers report that pandemic-driven supply chain issues continue to impact what products are available on the sales floor.

Decades ago Somerset residents went there to buy groceries. Years ago they went there to stay fit.

“It has changed how you do business,” Ron Shaffer, owner of Daniel Shaffers in Hooversville, said. “Especially for smaller guys like us.”

According to Shaffer, he is ordering 30 to 40 products monthly from his suppliers to try to keep up with demand. In past years he would order 50 or 60 products several times a year.

The delivery time is up to six months. He is now getting products that he ordered in the summer. When interviewed then, he was out of freezers, having sold 13 since the pandemic’s start. At the time it was more than he could remember selling in the past.

“We had to change how we order,” he said.

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In Bedford County, Jeff McGee, owner of Harclerode & McGee Appliances, said he is working with about six homeowners who have partial kitchens. They are waiting for either refrigerators, dishwashers or other appliances to complete their remodeling project.

“New houses have been particularly challenging,” McGee said, noting that the pandemic is to blame for the odd supply issues. He has been in business since the late 1980s.

The problems aren’t limited to one brand. Color, size and whether it’s a specialty item contribute to how quickly a product will be available. McGee said a vendor told him that Samsung product deliveries will likely be delayed. Whirlpool ranges are among appliances that are hard to find, he said.

“It’s been difficult,” he said. “We actually were in great shape, except for freezers, until the end of September.” Then dishwashers became a problem.

Great Clips in Somerset has unplugged the clippers.

The small shops are not alone. Lowe’s is dealing with supply changes as well. Jordan Paschal, who works with the company’s corporate communications team, said Lowe’s has been managing supply constraints in certain categories since March. Heat lamps, fire pits and patio heaters have been in demand, he said.

“We very actively partner with our suppliers to flow as much product to our stores, and in some categories, we have expanded our relationships to build out our assortment,” Paschal said.

In Hooversville, the freezers are trickling in,” according to Shaffer. Some are in stock. But he said supply consistency is not close to being normal.

He said the service department is also having trouble getting parts. Special order La-Z-Boy products likely won’t be in until March.

A business owner with more than three decades of experience and one who is at the start of h…

“A lot of people don’t want to wait that long,” Shaffer said, adding, “(W)e still have decent business, but I can’t keep up with demand.”

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