Nationwide appliance shortage leaves customers on long wait lists

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 07:24:57-04

BERKLEY, Mich. (WXYZ) — If you or someone you know has been in the market for a new appliance lately you may have run into trouble buying one.

Retailers report an appliance shortage nationwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From large chains to local independent appliance dealers, we’re learning the wait times to receive appliances have increased significantly.

Ken Goss, President of Specialties Showroom in Berkley, told 7 Action News, "We can usually get things in a week and now it might be 3 to 5 weeks."

He says his appliance business is considered essential. So it remained open while many other businesses closed in recent months, either because they weren't essential or the pandemic forced them to. Supply chains were disrupted like in the appliance industry.

"Manufacturing factories closed down because they had COVID incidents. Distribution centers closed down because they had employees (sick), And they had to close down and clean. So it's just been a slow restart as far as getting product out to the field," Goss explained.

7 Action News posted about the shortage" on social media. The responses varied, but many people said they could relate. Viewers commented that they had to wait weeks to get items like washers, dryers, refrigerators or freezers.

Justen Hill, with Quality Refrigeration Services said, "Not only is there a shortage with appliances, but there's also a shortage with the parts supplies coming in. Because a lot of the parts that are coming from overseas and they're just not coming in at a fast enough rate."

He says calls for service have actually kept him busy repairing appliances since some people have no other choice but to fix what they have, since buying new puts them on a waiting list.

"We're just trying to keep up with everything as fast as we can, and nobody knows where things are going at this point because we don't know if there's going to be another shutdown," Hill explained.

"We don't know if things are going to get slowed down. So we're just taking it day by day," he added.

Goss said, "Unless there's a resurgence in the near future, the manufacturers and the distribution chain have figured out how to get things but now there's just a large backlog for the whole United States or North America as a matter of fact."

If you’re in the market for an appliance retailers suggest you place your order as soon as possible and be patient.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.