Appliance and furniture stores see slight backlog improvements

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Furnishing your home or getting appliances has been a struggle during the pandemic, but retailers said production is ramping up and wait times are getting shorter.

The C.S. Wo & Sons buyer Velvet Lettner said furniture production still has ways to go before it reaches pre-pandemic levels. After an unprecedented year of delays, she had to pivot to meet the demand from customers.

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“When the slowdown started happening back in the summer, we really had to examine what we were stocking and what we were doing as buyers,” Lettner said. “So all the buyers started to increase the amount of stock that they were bringing in.”

The Honolulu Harbor is not facing delays or congestion of vessels, but the same cannot be said about the Los Angeles port.

However, shipment backlogs are not so much of what is causing weeks or even months of waiting. The pandemic continues to be the wildcard.

A COVID-19 outbreak at any stop can cause a domino effect of delays.

“We also buy from Italy, it is a certain look. I found out recently that they get parts from Korea,” Lettner said. “So if Korea has a slowdown because a factory had a shutdown because of a COVID breakout, then they get a delay as well.”

Meanwhile, The Discount Store owner Mike Allwer said he is seeing a slight improvement for in-stock appliances from months prior, but he still has months to wait for new orders.

“New shipment of fridges or stove, the next shipment ETA will be July,” Allwer said. “For now, we do have some supply that just came in — we are a little bit better.”

For a new fridge or new couch, it is recommended to shop at least three months in advance.

HomeWorld furnishing consultant Daniel Ramos said certain custom items will take longer to manufacture and ship. But with inventory increasing, there is more of a chance people will find furniture they like and in stock.

Ramos said, “If you, say I want something just like this, I want to show you something that I have either similar or exactly like it that’s in stock for you.”

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