High demand for appliances has some waiting months for delivery

OTTAWA — A surging demand in home renovations during the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of home appliances, meaning some customers are waiting months for delivery.

Louise Yazdani lives in Russell, Ont. She moved into her new home in October, but had ordered her appliances in August. She’s been waiting for them since.

It what was supposed to be her dream kitchen.

“I absolutely love the kitchen, it’s absolutely beautiful,” she says.

However, without the appliances she ordered specifically for it, she’s had to get creative, mastering the art of cooking on an induction hotplate.

“I also have a number of smaller appliances; I have a rice-cooker,” she says.

She’s not sure of the current status of the appliance order.

“The date has been shifting constantly,” she says, but adds that she was at least able to get a fridge from a different store.

“Not the right colour, not the right make and, also, it was smaller than what I needed. The freezer is very small.”

The cabinets were custom-made for the specific appliances she ordered. She’s not the only one waiting,

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Evan Hecht at Lastman’s BadBoy Superstore in Ottawa’s west end.

Yazdani ordered her appliances at a different store, but Hecht—who has been in the business for thirty years—says the pandemic led to a surge in demand.

“Appliances have really sky-rocketed; the demand for them is really unprecedented.”

Demand, combined with supply issues are to blame for the waits, says Hecht.

“Our suppliers are dealing with so many production delays, supply-chain issues, worker issues, and closure issues. It’s just a whole domino effect.”

“It is essentially a question of supply and demand,” a spokesperson for Lowe’s Canada tells CTV News Ottawa in a written statement. “The combination of increased demand and decreased supply has an inevitable impact on the availability of products to consumers. That being said, the early fall has been particularly difficult but the situation is improving by the day.”

A spokesperson for Home Depot Canada also writes they are seeing an increase in demand.

“While this situation is fluid, we have seen increased demand through COVID-19 for many items, including appliances. We are committed to supporting our customers and our merchandising and supply chain teams continue to work to replenish and deliver items as quickly as possible.”

LG Canada is an appliance manufacturer and, through a written statement to CTV News Ottawa, echoed the situation.

“At LG, we have seen unprecedented demand for home appliances as consumers look to improve and upgrade their homes during this extraordinary time. This demand has posed significant constraints on factories, which has not only affected LG, but the home appliance industry as a whole.”

A spokesperson for Whirlpool says they are working on overcoming these challenges.

“Our 15,000 plant employees in our nine plants across the U.S. have been working tirelessly as we have managed through COVID-19 and our factories are doing everything they can to meet consumer needs,” a statement says.

Yazdani is hopeful to see her new appliances soon. In the meantime, she’s become a creative cook.

“I already know how to do cakes on a barbecue,” she says.

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