One can’t watch the news or take a scroll through social media without hearing about interruptions in supply chains, including the furniture supply chain. This COVID-related dilemma is stressful and frustrating for consumers and the businesses they frequent.
For one thing, it’s affecting prices, as supply chain backups and increased demand force inflation upward. For another thing, it seems like bad news 24/7.
At Broadway Furniture in Tigard, we are feeling these effects, too — not just as business people, but as humans. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to write a piece about the post-COVID furniture supply chain to provide some perspective.
Showroom is Open
First of all, please do keep in mind that our furniture showroom in Tigard is open for business. We continue to maintain a big selection of high-quality, affordable furniture ready to be delivered to your home.
The best part of shopping in-store — aside from the friendly, expert customer service — is that our customers won’t need to wait to take an item home! Plus, there’s something great about browsing the store; it often inspires customers to find something new that they may not have been looking for when they first pulled up to our door.
Secondly, we know people love to shop online. It’s convenient, easy, and you have access to a wider catalog of furniture, bedding, and accent pieces.
Visitors to our website in recent weeks, however, may have noticed a disclaimer at the bottom of the homepage. It’s meant to inform our customers that COVID has disrupted the supply chain for all sorts of goods, including furniture. This results in a necessary and unavoidable price increase for many items.
We’re as unhappy about this development as many of our customers are. But the economics of supply and demand is such that price increases are the predictable and inevitable result of a deadly pandemic that has halted shipping and shuttered businesses the world over.
Less supply means higher prices on goods. Economics 101, right? The immediate cause: delays and disruptions in the global trade and supply chains that deliver goods to manufacturers and businesses.
In addition, there’s also been an unprecedented shift in consumer spending from services to goods. When spending habits change en masse in a short period of time, that places more strain on an already weakened consumer-goods supply chain.
This has caused problems for businesses producing raw materials, too, as well as down-supply-stream entities, including furniture retailers, such as Broadway Furniture.
There’s also the added wrinkle of what’s known in the biz as lean or just-in-time manufacturing (JIT). It means manufacturers are less likely to warehouse raw materials or products. Instead, they order materials on an as-needed basis.
State of the Industry
Add all those things up, and you get a furniture industry that’s suffering from a shortage of goods and an increase in the price of those goods.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, furniture supply chain problems and increased wait times for goods pale in comparison to the devastation and heartbreak that many families have had to endure.
Let us never forget the human cost. The most important aspect of COVID is that it’s an almost incomprehensible tragedy — a cruel gut punch for families who have lost loved ones; who have suffered job losses; and who often must deal on their own with mental health challenges brought on by stress and social isolation.
But let’s remain hopeful. We will get through this. We are getting through this. Together.
We thank you for your patience and your understanding. We look forward to a day when all this is behind us and we can return to business as usual. Hopefully, the pandemic won’t affect holiday shopping. But if it is, then now is a good time to get your furniture orders in. High lead times help us to keep up with the demand for furniture.
Still, it’s probably also a good idea to get used to shipping delays and mild inflation until we’re past this moment in history.
Please let us know if you have any questions. We remain open for business and look forward to greeting you in our Tigard furniture store or assisting you with your online order.