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Home improvement stores facing shortages of certain products

COLUMBIA – The home improvement sector has seen an economic boom during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now stores are facing supply shortages of certain products and finding it hard to meet demand quickly.

Earlier this week, “The Home Depot” released its sales figures for the second quarter. The company’s sales have increased 23% as people are spending more time at home during the pandemic.

Local businesses say home appliance sales are up as well.

“All the appliances like refrigerators, freezers, all these things that we normally have tons of, really are in short [supply],” said Gene Lavely, a salesman at “Downtown Appliance Home Center” in Columbia.

In fact, a banner at the top of the appliance store’s website states that they are currently sold out of all freezers.

Lavely attributed the shortage of certain products, especially freezers, to the increased demand as people stocked up on meat and other food at the start of the pandemic.

“In the appliance world itself, [companies] weren’t able to build appliances for a couple of months due to COVID,” Lavely said. “And that of course brought on the shortage that we’re seeing now.”

Certain types of appliances are on back order, anywhere from one to three months, according to Lavely. 

Still, Lavely said Downtown Home Appliance Center has been able to keep up with demand because they planned ahead and bought large quantities of their most popular models. 

“That’s allowed us to still have plenty of appliances to sell,” he said. “It may not be the one someone wanted, but it was something at least close enough that it got them the resolve they needed for their appliance needs.”

The National Association of Home Builders also reports that lumber prices have increased roughly 80 percent since April.

Several local fencing companies told KOMU 8 News over the phone that finding lumber supplies is increasingly difficult at the moment.

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