Pandemic leads to delays in appliance purchases

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Appliances are in high demand across the country with more people staying home due to the pandemic. But manufacturing and shipping challenges are causing delays.

“It’s not that we can’t get them, it’s when are we going to get them and that’s the big challenge,” Karl’s TV and Appliance General Manager Tom Johnson said.

While you still have plenty of options for appliances, Johnson says during the pandemic, certain products can take a lot longer than usual to come in.

“Our normal channels are usually a week to 10 days under normal circumstances, but most of our manufacturers today are saying add anywhere from four to eight weeks to that,” Johnson said.

That’s largely because some of the manufacturers have had to slow production due to COVID-19. 

“All of a sudden you have manufacturers that aren’t able fulfill a full schedule where they have to be shuttered for a week or so and that just creates a bottle neck. When you’re producing 10,000 to 20,000 pieces a day and you’re shut down for a couple days, that really creates a challenge in different areas,” Johnson said.

“It’s a different world right now and you kind of just have to learn to understand and roll with the punches,” customer Austin Appel said.

Customers like Appel, understand business is different for everyone right now and are adjusting their own expectations.

“We’re building a house so we don’t actually need any of our new appliances till October, so its not really a big issue for us,” Appel said.

“The biggest thing about ordering today, hopefully our team will tell you, this is what we have in stock and show you the things you can take with you today,” Johnson said.

Johnson says Karl’s still has some of every appliance to choose from, just not as many options as before the pandemic.

“Our mix of products have changed a little. Our showroom has a little extra space in it today where the aisles are a little wider because we can spread out a little more. The selection has dwindled just a little bit because of availability,” Johnson said.

Shipping around the world has also been impacted by the pandemic, which is also causing the delays in not only new appliances, but also parts needed for repairs. 

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