Vancouver Island retailers report long delays for new appliances, furniture, vehicles due to COVID-19
VICTORIA -- Shopping for new appliances, furniture or a vehicle? Vancouver Island showrooms are full but customers may be caught off guard when they’re told how long it’s going to take to get their product from the manufacturer.
Once again, you can thank the pandemic for those delays.
Eric Barney, a sales manager with Landsdowne Appliance in Victoria, says what used to take between two and four weeks is now taking up to 12 weeks.
“It’s kind of unpredictable,” he says.
It all stems from the manufacturing supply chain.
“Fridges seem to be the worst because they’re always in need and when you need one, it’s not, ‘I can get one later,’ it’s ‘I need one right now,’” Barney adds.
Landsdowne Appliance isn’t alone. All appliance stores get their products from the same manufacturers.
“Things have changed dramatically since the spring,” said Darren Ausmus, manager and owner of Luxe Home Interiors in Victoria.
“Fabric is a good example,” says Ausmus. “Textiles are difficult to come by now because many of them are imported from across the globe. Now we’re really seeing a delay that’s probably in the neighbourhood of three to four months.”
Many suppliers have scaled down their workforces amid the pandemic.
“Most factories are operating at well below their capacity,” says Ausmus. “They’ve gone from a much larger workforce to a much smaller workforce, which means it simply just takes longer.”
Over at Suburban Motors in Saanich, that slow manufacturing supply chain is being felt as well.
“With some plant shutdowns in the past, it caused a bit of supply-and-demand issues,” says Nathan Forbes, director of sales with Carson Group Automotive.
It may not be until later this year that the supply catches up with demand again.
“The plants are starting to get back to a normal level and we’re starting to get more representation on the lot,” says Forbes. “We did have a time period where there wasn’t a whole lot on the ground.”
He says a factory order car may take between three and four months to arrive due to the supply issues.