TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A problem being faced by furniture stores nationwide is occurring in Topeka, with local stores struggling to receive products.
In Topeka, Furniture Mall of Kansas’ staff is experiencing large delays, with many of the products not expected to arrive until the summer. A large part of this is due to heightened demand for furniture and has been ongoing since May, according to Sales Lead Dakota Burton.
“We all spent several weeks in our home just sitting on the stuff we had,” Burton said. “I think it made people realize that it was time for them to start new, start fresh.”
However, furniture suppliers cannot keep up with the high demand, especially with them having to minimize their factory workers due to the coronavirus. On top of that, there is also a shortage of the raw materials needed to create the furniture.
These challenges have caused many of the suppliers to delay their products by around 20 weeks. La-Z-Boy Furniture is currently in high demand, with a delay until August, Burton said.
This has caused the staff at Furniture Mall of Kansas to adapt to these difficulties and change the way they do things.
“If someone’s looking for something specific, we kind of know who can get it the fastest,” Burton said. “We also expanded our orders team a lot to help with follow-up, making sure guests get the most available information on their orders.”
The store stocked up on popular items when they first reopened in May after the statewide shutdown. However, months later, they only have a few items left in stock, if not none at all.
Although it has been tough for the staff to get the customers to understand the delays, Burton said it may actually be for the better.
“It gave people, I think, more skills that they have now to help people make sure they get what they want, and let them know that waiting for what you want is better than just settling for what’s available now,” Burton said.
The expectancy of how long the delays may last is unknown, according to Burton, but many of the suppliers are taking extra steps in an attempt to speed up the process.