Planning Ahead: Furniture Store Delays

If you are in the process of remodeling or building a home, you are probably aware of the market-wide delays.

The delays started early on in the pandemic, and have carried far into 2021 as well. But, why? Why is it so hard to get new appliances or a couch into your home? Why has Unruh extended their production timeline?

Well, there isn’t just one answer!

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Brecker Table
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Above is our square Brecker Table

The Unexpected Boom

Dining sets are taking anywhere from four to ten months to show up at people’s doorsteps. Even Nebraska Furniture Mart is experiencing major delays (delays as long as nine months for a couch).

And why? Well, there are many unprecedented reasons for furniture delays. Fortune.com described it as “the perfect storm of issues”. You can read their article more in-depth here.

But, we will focus on the major contributing factor: the unexpected boom. The unexpected boom was and is the insane furniture/housing demand that happened during our year of isolation.

People were spending more time at home, picking up new hobbies, and finally starting home projects they had put off for years. During this time, the vacation budget stayed in the bank. The most traveling anyone did was from the TV to the kitchen.

The stay-at-home order resulted in a lot of home renovation projects. A lot. Vacation money started going towards a new paint job, a new kitchen backsplash, etc.

This, and an array of other supply-demand issues, got us to a place where we are waiting months for furniture that used to be just weeks away.

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$1899
Hartford Sideboard
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$749
Dearborn Coffee Table
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Above is our Hartford Sideboard with the Dearborn Coffee Table

The Lumber Issue

More specific to Unruh and our market, the lumber industry has had some unexpected challenges.

Right now there is a lumber shortage. This isn’t because of a lack of trees to mill, but another supply-demand issue. At the beginning of the pandemic, many of the sawmills sent workers home and stopped production. No one expected the huge need for wood! The mills quickly realized the newly bustling industry couldn’t go on without them and got back to filling lumber orders.

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But the beginning of the pandemic is still affecting furniture companies. Lumber prices have skyrocketed and it is getting harder and harder to get certain sized pieces. This has created a great inability for furniture stores to have consistent timelines and keep up with the demand.

Getting any hardwood furniture at this moment is a challenge, but people are continuing to update and design their homes. We are so thankful for the influx of families who still choose to go with quality, custom furniture even with a long wait!

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$1899
Boulevard Table
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$769
Boulevard Bench
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Above is our Boulevard Table paired with the matching Boulevard Bench

What to Expect from Us

Unruh Furniture is no exception to these delays and setbacks. Our timeline has moved from 10-12 weeks to 6-7 months.

Like the world, we have also had a perfect storm of issues. Not only is the lumber shortage contributing to the longer timeline, but our production site collapsed in February. No one was hurt, and we were lucky that most of the supplies were not damaged. Now we are all comfy and settled in a new production site 35 minutes south of Kansas City!

All these factors have been a challenge, but we are still incredibly committed to making high-quality wooden furniture. Our production team is still making furniture from scratch every day. Our sales and design team are still happy to offer any kind of help to anyone looking for a custom piece. Everyone has just had to be a little more patient than usual!

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$2359
Conway Table
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Pictured above, you can see the base of our Conway Table being built

How to Plan Accordingly

Right now there isn’t much that a buyer can do to get furniture and home goods quicker (other than pick up some woodworking skills). It feels like these delays will be around for a bit longer.

Don’t let this discourage you from purchasing your dream furniture! These delays do not mean settle for cheap, factory-made furniture. This just means being intentional with renovation plans from now on. Plan ahead! That is the biggest way to be prepared for any remodeling. If you have been wanting to host Thanksgiving for the last 3 years, but haven’t splurged on the table yet, now is the time!

And if you really, really can’t wait, ask stores if you can purchase directly off the floor. Asking never hurt anyone! Some furniture stores are still offering rush production as well, ask so you know you have exhausted every option!

This year has provided challenges for everyone, so remember to be kind! We are all moving through unprecedented times. But, we still want to provide you with high-quality pieces you will love forever.

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Brooke Ford

Brooke is a KC native with a passion for design and writing. She is a self-proclaimed foodie and cat mom who loves to watch Love Island after a long day of writing.

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