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News that's not relaxing
Exchange Furniture.jpg
Marci and Chad Burger at Exchange Furniture say there's an abundance of interest in buying a new sofa, but customers are having to wait much longer to get what they want.

Here’s a story that's not sitting well.

There’s a nationwide furniture shortage on sofas and love seats.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 25 years of full-time work in the furniture business,” said Chad Burger of Exchange Furniture on Morford Street. “I’ve never seen it where you can’t call your furniture dealer and in a normal amount of time get what you want. It used to take anywhere from two to six weeks. We’re looking at 12 to 16 weeks now.”

Like most of the problems gripping our society, COVID-19 appears behind this one too. 

Furniture factories were shut down for a couple months at the height of the pandemic. This led to no production. 

Add to that people were staying a home more. This gives them a chance to be more familiar with their furniture and seek upgrades. This has created more demand. 

Chad said he’s heard just about everything when it comes to reasons why his orders have been so heavily delayed.

“I’ve been told it’s a foam shortage,” said Chad. “We don’t have any trouble getting bedroom furniture or dining room furniture. It’s mainly the sofas and love seats.”

Chad said the furniture delivery delay is not just a local problem. He says it’s impacting all furniture stores.

“I think people are finally starting to soak it in that every furniture store is in the same boat,” said Chad. “When they come here looking for something and we tell them it’s going to be awhile, a lot of people act like they’re heard that before. It’s not just us.”

As Barr’s Fine Home Furnishing on Beersheba Street, owners Earl and Hazel Barr had the luxury of a full warehouse when the furniture shortage began. Even with that full warehouse, supplies are starting to run a little thin.

“Earl says he’s never had a warehouse this empty in his 57 years,” said Hazel. “We had a pretty good backup but it’s dwindled down. There is definitely a much longer wait time to get furniture. We’re still getting it, but it takes much longer.”

Hazel said she’s heard there’s a shortage on everything related to sofas, including foam, lumber and metal parts to operate the reclining mechanisms.

“People have the money to spend,” said Hazel. “We read a report that said since people aren’t spending much money on trips and vacations that they have more money to spend on furniture.”

Both local furniture stores say January is typically one of the slowest months of the year because people don’t have money to spend after Christmas and their income tax refunds have not arrived. 

There is optimism that a slow January may give furniture manufacturers a chance to catch up on orders.