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Furniture orders delayed up to 3 months because of pandemic strains

Local furniture stores say manufacturing backups are delaying orders for far longer than normal. Now, the problem is trickling down to second hand shops.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The furniture industry is just the latest business facing delays related to the pandemic. Local shops say it takes weeks or even months to fill orders.

Now, manufacturing problems with furniture are not just impacting direct sellers. They're starting to have a trickle-down effect to consignment stores.

A normal wait on furniture from a first-hand store would be about two to four weeks, but local shops are seeing delays as long as three months because of COVID-19.

For some shoppers, the wait is not an option. That's when consignment could be the perfect fit.

"Moves don't always wait and houses don't wait for furniture when you're ready to live in them," said Krista Shipley at Eyedia on Baxter Avenue.

Shipley said more and more people have been coming in for furniture they can take home that day. But as delays continue, even second-hand stock is running low.

"We've had items that people wanted to consign that we had on the books to come in, but those new pieces that they were looking to change out were delayed," Shipley said.

For the first-hand sellers, it is more complicated than avoiding one manufacturer. Robert Williams at Winner Furniture on Bardstown Road said the problems and backups are across the board.

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"Raw materials, trucker shortages, shipping container shortages, just things that are affecting us," Williams said of the biggest problems.

Beyond the pandemic, even Texas' winter storms had an impact, Williams said they caused setbacks for production of cushion foam. Some of his customers are willing to play the waiting game, though Williams is hopeful they won't be held up much longer.

"I would hope in the next several months as the world begins to open up, we could see that start to change,” he said.

Williams encourages people to come in with a few pieces picked out, saying you're more likely to find something in stock that way.

If you don’t, the second-hand hunt may be worth the work.

"Check consignment first because there are always great finds out there,” Shipley said.

She added that people may need to be patient, even when trying to buy furniture on consignment.

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