CONOVER, N.C. – As more people stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, more people are buying furniture. So much so, that it’s creating a backlog.
"Everything is tenfold from two to three years ago," said Davey Cartner, the lead trimmer at Carolina Custom Leather, a North Carolina-based manufacturer that ships furniture nationwide.
Companies like Carolina Custom Leather have seen sales as much as double thanks to the recent boom.
"We had the best June we ever had in the history of our company," said owner Todd Stroud.
Stroud says furniture demand is outpacing supply. It’s largely a result of more people staying indoors during the pandemic. Industry experts suggest stimulus money may have also motivated people to buy furniture.
"When the business went up at such a fast rate, it definitely put a strain on the supply side," Stroud said.
It normally takes about eight weeks for Stroud’s business to ship an item, but with growing demand, that’s grown to 22 weeks. Similar delays should be expected nationwide.
"The incoming orders have been up 30%, but the shipments have only been up 6 or 7%," said Jerry Epperson, the managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson, an investment bank in the furniture industry.
Epperson has analyzed the furniture industry for 50 years. He says a shortage in foam is causing problems too. Severe weather forced suppliers in Texas and Louisiana to temporarily shut down in February.
"They got way behind in being able to make those chemicals," Epperson said.
"Instead of getting 100% every week, we were getting 30-40% and that lasted for over two months," Stroud said.
Epperson said that furniture supplies shipping from overseas have also been delayed at U.S. ports. It could mean your furniture order may not be available for a long time.
"In a year, it’ll probably be easier to custom order exactly what you want," Epperson said.