Metro warehouses, builders dealing with appliance shortages since pandemic hit

Stores running short on appliances since COVID-19 pandemic hit Atlanta area

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — The coronavirus pandemic started a toilet paper shortage. We’ve seen issues finding some food and even lumber. Now, people are having trouble getting appliances.

The warehouse at Georgia Kitchens in Buford is ideally in a constant state of re-supply as products sell. But it’s not at a time like this.

“Our trucks starting arriving more and more empty week to week. And our warehouse dwindled of product. This is real life now,” sales manager Tyler Christopher told Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen.

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Christopher said major manufacturers of refrigerators, dishwashers and ranges can’t meet the demand.

“We get three to five calls a day people looking for deep freezer. From what we’re hearing, we won’t see them for the rest of the year,” he said.

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Christopher told Petersen that as coronavirus spread, some appliance plants shut down as factory workers tested positive. He also said current inventory sold out when some people spent their stimulus payments on new appliances.

Many contractors are running into problems, too. They can’t finish the kitchens in new homes they’re building because of the shortage.

“Typically we can order our material a few weeks before we need them. But now we have to order them at least four to six weeks out for each item,” builder Reese Van Beber said.

Christopher said he is constantly on the phone with factory representatives.

“A back order may last two or three weeks. Never months. It’s ridiculous.”