If you’re planning on buying a new piece of furniture for your house, prepare to wait a while. You might find yourself frustrated after picking out the perfect couch for your living room, only to find out that it will be months before it arrives. So, what is taking so long?
Long story short, there are shortages on all fronts of the furniture industry. First, you’ve got labor shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manufacturing companies are struggling to keep their factories and plants full of workers so that they can produce the same level of output as they did before. In addition, once the piece of furniture has been made, the shipping companies will move it more slowly due to labor shortages, too.
It’s not just a lack of labor that’s slowing down the process. There has been a huge foam shortage that can be traced back to a winter storm from February. This winter storm shut down 4 chemical plants in Texas and 1 in Louisiana after it caused widespread power outages. These plants produce the chemical propylene oxide which is the main ingredient in foam. While these power outages lasted only a few days, it threw off the plants’ schedule and they have yet to recover. Those plants were already backlogged with waiting orders before the storm hit, and the demand for foam in things like furniture, car seats, and molds for casting steel has stayed steady.
Finally, the trifecta of shortages ends with the current lumber shortage. The lumber shortage was not caused by a natural disaster, but rather by human error. As the COVID-19 pandemic started to affect the world economy, lumber manufacturers had a choice to make. They looked to past recessions and decided that the number of new houses being built (where most lumber produced goes) was likely to drop.
So, the lumber industry slowed production to meet their expected drop in demand. Instead, the new house building industry strengthened. This left a lumber industry who was not prepared to meet the level of demand, and it was made worse by safety protocols needed for COVID-19 which slowed production even further. The result was an imbalance between supply and demand which the lumber industry is still reeling to make up.
Huizen’s Furniture | High quality furniture are fair prices
At Huizen’s, we’ve been in the furniture industry for over 4 generations. We pride ourselves on building strong, long-lasting relationships with our customers. With that in mind, we share your frustration over the furniture industry shortages. We’re here to do whatever we can to make the process of buying a new piece of furniture as easy as we can for you.