Zeglin’s Explains Product Shortages in Local Press

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.”

Related: BrandSource’s Ron Bemis on In-Stock Strategies

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.”

See also: How to Contend with Customer Complaints Over Delivery Delays

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