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Just Ordered a Sofa? You May Be Waiting Awhile

Shipping delays, material shortages, COVID overseas all contributing to furniture delivery lag
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2021 9:15 AM CDT
Just Ordered a Sofa? You May Be Waiting Awhile
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Ljupco)

(Newser) – Kept at home due to the pandemic and spurred by recent stimulus checks, Americans have increasingly invested in sprucing up their homes, including by purchasing new furniture. But that rush on sofas, beds, and coffee tables has caused a backlog, leaving some consumers waiting for months to receive their shipments. The owner of a furniture delivery company based out of North Carolina tells Fox Business that while it typically takes eight weeks to ship an item, that wait has now jumped to around 22 weeks, a trend seen around the nation. One vendor used by a furniture showroom in San Francisco is quoting arrival dates of September—not 2021, but 2022, per Slate. "The incoming orders have been up 30%, but the shipments have only been up 6% or 7%," Jerry Epperson, an executive with investment banking firm Mann, Armistead & Epperson, tells Fox.

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One of the reasons for the slowdown is that supplies from overseas have been delayed at US ports, per Epperson. Labor and transportation issues, as well as raw materials shortages, are also a factor: Foam and lumber are especially scarce, the former affected by winter storms in Texas and other Southern states that brought producers of propylene oxide—a major ingredient in the foam used in couches, mattresses, and chairs—offline. Meanwhile, COVID spread in Vietnam, a major exporter of furniture to the US, is also playing a role, causing factories there to shutter, notes CNN Business. "It's kind of nutty right now," the co-owner of a furniture chain in Texas and Kansas says. "Every single day we're hearing more bad news." (Read more furniture stories.)

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