BrandSource Members Cited in NPR Report

BrandSource member Sandy Tau of AHC Appliances said she has never seen shortages this severe in her 25 years of business.

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Two BrandSource members — Boston’s Yale Appliance and AHC Appliances in Long Island, N.Y. — were quoted in a recent article by National Public Radio (NPR) about ongoing product shortages throughout the white-goods industry.

The members were the sole retailers cited in the story.

In it, Yale CEO Steve Sheinkopf noted that his company sold more freezers in two days last spring than in all of last year. During the early stages of the pandemic, “People were storing stuff,” he told NPR. “We thought this was the end of times; we needed food.”

See: Yale Hails New Hanover Store

Similarly, AHC owner Sandy Tau, who’s been in the business for a quarter century, said she has “never experienced a year where there were shortages like we’ve seen this year. We have freezers that are on back order since the end of March that have still not come in.”

The article attributes the inventory tightness to unprecedented and unanticipated consumer demand, compounded by COVID outbreaks in major shipping and manufacturing hubs in China, the U.S. and Mexico.

Related: Vendors Contend with COVID Concerns at Factories

John Taylor, spokesman for LG Electronics USA, described the circumstances as “the perfect storm,” while Electrolux observed that “American families continue to stay close to home, causing demand for kitchen appliances to exceed the industry’s supply chain.”

As a result, consumers are left with fewer choices, the article noted, and Black Friday promotions, like this month’s Labor Day sales, are expected to be few and far between. As one Texas shopper recounted, “I feel very lucky I got a full-sized fridge. That was the only full-sized refrigerator in a 50-mile radius. That’s how crazy it is. I didn’t get what I wanted, but I just feel very lucky I got a fridge.”

Whirlpool, GE and Lowe’s did not respond to NPR’s inquiries, and The Home Depot referred the media organization to manufacturers.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.