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Appliance shortage still causing headaches 9 months into the pandemic

Posted at 4:17 AM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 06:26:50-05

(WXYZ) — If you've been looking for a new kitchen appliance this year, the search might feel a lot like scouring for a new Xbox or Playstation 5! Whether you're looking for a new fridge, dishwasher, or something else, the appliance shortage that began in March shows no sign of letting up.

Tommy Conougher needed more space in his fridge, and like many, he wanted to stock up on frozen beef and chicken.

"We thought we would just invest in a freezer we would put in the garage, so we started to look," he said.

But finding one was harder than he thought. He's been searching nine months, with no luck.

It turns out it doesn't matter if you're looking for a freezer or a refrigerator – an $800 model or an $8,000 model, you're going to find shortages everywhere.

Ken Reiman is the co-owner of an appliance distributor which supplies builders and remodelers. He said the shortages started when factories shut down for two months and have not yet let up.

"For instance, they will give an estimated time of December 5, and December 6 comes around and they have moved to January," he said.

The issue now is high demand, as many people are spending their vacation dollars this year on their kitchens.

His suggestion is to be flexible on brand and model.

If you need a fridge now? He said if you have an exact size, color and model, it could have to wait until spring.

While our team has been finding shortages with all appliances, the worst of all are stand-alone freezers, because not many of them are made.