WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What started as a seemingly innocuous purchase turned into a headache for Mark Yonash and his wife, a couple who moved to Wichita last fall.
Working on refurbishing their new home, they purchased furniture in November from a big box store. Yonash says the company told them to expect their purchase by January. Instead, it arrived damaged in April.
“One side of the electric loveseat didn’t work properly. The headrest was canted,” Yonash said.
For Yonash, that means waiting one whole year from his original purchase date before a replacement arrives.
“It’s not going to be replaced until November of 2021. That’s just unheard of,” Yonash said.
And it’s not only the big box stores feeling the heat.
“We’ve been here 48 years. We’ve never seen anything like it,” said Bruce Maybrier, Jim’s Furniture owner.
Maybrier says a shortage of manpower in factories he does business with is turning supply and demand in the furniture business upside down.
“Instead of having you buy it and pull around back and load it, now you pay down on it and order it, and wait for me to call you when it comes in,” Maybrier said.
Maybrier says he has even had to stop guaranteeing delivery dates to his customers in the wake of this change.
“We used to get stuff in a week. Now, it could be three months, four months. Ninety percent of the product in here is sold out, and we’re waiting to get more in,” Maybrier said.
Maybrier says current price increases could balance things out soon.
“From freight to custom materials, everything’s going on up. Wood, lumber, I mean, fabric, the steel, the, everything, now fuel costs,” Maybrier said.
Still, the nationwide shortage has folks, like Yonash, rethinking future furniture purchases.
“I paid them $4,000 for that set. I told my wife, we are not ordering anything ever again. If they can’t deliver it the next day, or if we don’t see it, then, I’m not buying from them,” Yonash said.