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Furniture shortage and delays are due to more than COVID-19 shutdown

Current wait times for furniture delivery are anywhere from three to eight months.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Before the pandemic, wait times for furniture delivery may have been a few weeks or a month at most. But that wait time has increased significantly.

The reason for these delays are caused by more factors than the inability to acquire enough inventory after the pandemic shut down many business operations. Other factors include delays in almost every aspect of the supply chain, the cargo ship stuck in the Suez Canal and a foam shortage.

Owner of Spencer's Furniture Craig Taylor said customers used to wait four to six weeks for their delivery. Now, they are waiting anywhere from three to eight months.

“That's what we've tried to do is try to order enough stock to have to make those wait times, you know, maybe in half, or we'd have it in stock, too, but a lot of the stuff that's coming in, is either sold or unavailable,” Taylor said.

Furniture shortage is an issue seen across the industry.

La-Z-Boy chief executive Kurt Darrow told the Washington Post their customers are now waiting an “unprecedented” five to nine months on their orders.

Scott Kusel bought a sofa from La-Z-Boy in April. He said he was shocked to learn it would not be delivered for about six months.

“Honestly, I thought he was joking when he said, you know, October, and that and I say it was, it was shocking,” Kusel said.

There were more factors in the delayed shipping times in addition to supply chain issues.

For six days, a skyscraper-sized cargo shipped blocked the Suez Canal. This halted $10 million worth of trade that travels through the canal daily, including shipping containers full of furniture.

Congested ports in Los Angeles also slowed the delivery of furniture transported on shipping containers.

There was also a foam shortage that made it nearly impossible to keep stores and warehouses properly stocked. This stemmed from the freeze in Texas, where most of the chemicals are produced for foam.

Even with these factors, Taylor is hopeful that shipping times will start to go back to normal soon.

“It’s getting better. It’s slowly getting better,” Taylor said.

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