By Alan Wolf, YSN
BrandSource member Zeglin’s Home TV & Appliance helped explain the appliance industry’s supply-chain squeeze in a new report by the local Quad-City Times newspaper.
Owner/partner Duncan Kramer, who operates showrooms in Iowa and Illinois, told the Davenport paper that the one-two punch of COVID-related factory shutdowns and increased consumer demand has escalated the product shortages that first emerged last spring.
“We’ve seen a demand on freezers since March; we were beginning to think it’s where people were storing their toilet paper,” he quipped.
But with many families working and attending school from home, their household appliances are getting around-the-clock workouts. “They’re opening the refrigerator doors a lot more,” Kramer said, “and people are using all of their appliances more.”
Unfortunately, he added, most manufacturing systems are designed to handle a finite number of back orders. “They can’t keep up now.”
Besides plant shutdowns, vendors and retailers have also been beset by transportation issues stemming from the pandemic. “People unloading trains got infected, truck drivers got infected; it’s a ripple effect,” Kramer said. “It’s pretty much everything, and the predicted recovery has been pushed back repeatedly.”
To help avoid back-order waits, Zeglin’s sales team has been steering customers to comparable in-stock inventory. “You may come in wanting dishwasher X, but we have dishwashers Y and Z that have similar features,” he said. “You just have to be flexible on brands.”
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, home furnishings and CE dealers.