Don’t expect that new piece of furniture you ordered to come soon, wait times have been averaging into months lately. So, if you’re replacing old furniture, hang onto it for a while. If you’re wondering why furniture is taking so long to get to consumers these days, you’re not alone. Consumers and manufacturers alike have been frustrated by widespread shortages and COVID-19 shutdowns that are delaying production and shipping times.
Everywhere you look in the furniture industry today, there are shortages. There are shortages in labor caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns from state to state. Both the manufacturing side and the shipping side of the furniture industry have had trouble keeping their operations at full capacity due to a lack of workers willing to risk contracting the COVID-19 virus.
To make matters worse, labor isn’t the only factor in short supply. There are multiple material shortages that are affecting the furniture industry.
Lumber has been all over the news due to skyrocketing prices caused by shortages. But why is lumber so expensive? Lumber manufacturers tried to predict demand based on previous recessions which slowed the building of new houses. New houses are the main sources of lumber demand, so lumber manufacturers expecting less new homes to be built slowed their production. However, new house building actually strengthened, leaving the lumber industry with a serious lack of supply to meet their demand. Now, they’re scrambling to meet demand and reduce the backlog that’s slowing lumber-dependent industries everywhere.
The other material shortage that’s affecting furniture wait times is a lack of foam. This shortage was caused by a winter storm during February in the southern U.S. which foam manufacturers haven’t been able to overcome yet. Back in February, a severe winter storm shut down power grids around the south. Most importantly to the furniture industry, it shut down chemical plants that produce propylene oxide, the main ingredient in foam.
There were 4 plants in Texas and 1 in Louisiana that were shut down for multiple days. That may not seem long enough to cause this kind of reaction, but it was more than enough time to throw off their schedules. These plants were already dealing with backlogs and labor shortages, and now they have been left well behind schedule for demand from multiple industries, from furniture and vehicle seats, to molds for metal casting.
Stonesthrow was formerly a part of Huizen’s Furniture, but the 4th generation of the Huizen family recognized the need for modern furniture at affordable prices. That’s when Stonesthrow was born. The Huizen children brought with them expertise passed down in the family since 1926, and they continue to expand their furniture knowledge so that their customers can get the value they deserve.
We want to help you with all of your furniture needs, from new and clearance pieces, to interior design services. If you’re wondering what Stonesthrow can do for you today, give us a call at (616) 459-4167 or send us a contact form to learn more!