When the clock struck twelve back on January first of 2020, America was looking forward to a year of opportunity, improvement, and success. Little did we know a microscopic virus three months later would change the course of not only our country, but the entire world.
The Power of the Pandemic
Supply and demand must reach a point of equilibrium in their relationship in order to be beneficial to the economy. The recent pandemic shifted this equilibrium in the furniture supply chain, causing demand to skyrocket and supply to plummet.
When COVID-19 shut down the United States, the furniture industry was blindsided. Manufacturers responded by preparing themselves for a recession by cancelling supply orders. However, with everyone stuck at home, consumers began to invest in their homes using extra money from cancelled vacations and stimulus checks. Since they’d originally anticipated no demand, manufacturers were slow to respond due to depleted warehouses and lack of raw material. Foam is a frequently used material in the furniture industry. As the demand for furniture rose, as did the demand for foam. The prices furniture manufacturers and other companies were willing to pay increased dramatically. A majority of foam’s raw materials are sourced from foam suppliers in Texas and Louisiana. Unusual freezing temperatures during the winter led to foam manufactures not being able to produce foam in normal quantities. Combined with the COVID-19 shutdown, the freeze left the foam industry with a huge demand, but no supply at the ready. Partners in Vietnam and China had already shut down prior to the U.S. back in February of 2020, causing supply chain issues.In addition, new COVID-19 precautions such as social distancing and a loss of workers cut productivity. Shipping suffered through COVID with an increase in container prices and not enough truck drivers for both raw goods and product.
So What Now?
Right now, eager buyers are facing long delays for their purchases. Turnaround times have increased greatly since last March. For example, pre-COVID, one of our manufacturer’s turnaround times was about three weeks. Currently, it is at thirty weeks. As of now, these are the current turnaround times for our different manufacturers:
- Albany: 40 weeks
- Ashley: 16 weeks
- Best Craft: 40 weeks
- Best Home Furnishings: 35 weeks
- Coaster: 24 weeks
- Door County Furniture: 18 weeks
- Flexsteel: 30 weeks
- International Furniture Direct: 20 weeks
- Jofran: 20 weeks
- LaZBoy: 40 weeks (recliners), Close to 1 Year (sectionals, stationary, and lift furniture).
- Leather Italia: 30+ weeks
- Leick: 20 weeks
- Perdue: 30 weeks
- Perfect Choice: 20 weeks
- Sealy/Stearns & Foster: 4-6 weeks
- Southern Motion: 38-40 hours
- Sunny Designs: 40 weeks
- Surya: 6-8 weeks
- Tennessee Enterprises: 20 weeks
- TempurPedic: 2-4 weeks
- Ultra Comfort: 12
- Wolfcraft: 20 weeks
As COVID-19 rules and regulations are slowly but surely
disappearing, expect prices to continue to rise. While uncertainty in the industry makes all plans subject to adjustment and reevaluation, Plymouth Furniture promises to continue doing our best for our customers.