Strained supply chains creating backlog in furniture industry

Home furniture supply shortage causing delays

Furniture buyers are experiencing delays due to material shortages and increased costs. FOX Business’ Grady Trimble with more. 

The coronavirus pandemic coupled with recent weather events in the South has strained supply chains in the home furniture industry, forcing homeowners to wait weeks, if not months, for some products. 

This comes at a time when the industry is facing unprecedented demand, making it harder to fulfill orders. 

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For Hickory Chair Furniture Co. in North Carolina, not only has the cost of its materials – such as the metal and wood it uses – increased, but there is also a shortage of foam due to the winter storms last February. 

Additionally, the factory has a limited number of workers to make the furniture due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Furniture store (iStock) 

"It's a very unique experience to have this level of demand and not be able to keep up with it," Hickory Chair President Kevin Bowman told FOX Business' Grady Trimble. 

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It's a problem faced by the entire industry, impacting both large and small furniture companies.

One of them is Room & Board, a furniture retailer based in Minneapolis. 

"Material availability, staffing shortages and unprecedented demand is impacting our ability to fulfill orders quickly," Room & Board Chief Operating Officer Bruce Champeau said in a note to customers. 

Historically, Champeau said that the company has been able to "fulfill orders within a matter of days to a few weeks" due to the fact that nearly off of its furniture and home decor is made by U.S. manufacturers. 

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Now, due to the volatility of today's environment, the company hasn't been able to accurately foresee delays as it once could, according to Champeau. 

To try and combat this, however, Champeau said the company is investing in bringing on "new manufacturing partners, adding delivery staff members and increasing warehouse space." 

For now, the company is encouraging customers to order ahead "to allow for longer wait times than usual." 

While some items are in stock and available for delivery, many of its popular items are out of stock "for an extended time," Champeau said. 

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