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Appliance stores experience shortage of items, parts

Coronavirus impacts overseas slows down retailers.
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 10:08 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -

Right now appliances are in very high demand, but also in very short supply.

“The primary reason for that is certain appliance parts are manufactured by a handful of manufactures overseas, Asia specifically,” Furniture and Appliance Mart vice president of marketing Jon Gadbois said.

Parts that are created overseas are hard to come by. Parts like magnetron tubes for microwaves and compressors for refrigerators and freezers have become hard for stores to get in stock.

“The lack of availability of these parts are causing the supply chain to become very disrupted,” Gadbois added.

The effects of disruption in part manufacturers are now being seen in retail stores here in Wisconsin.

“There are hundred of parts in these refrigerators. If you’re short one part, you may not be able to function that refrigerator. So that’s part of the supply problem,” Grebe’s president Roger Grebe explained.

Right now Grebe’s is seeing a very high uptick in purchases with items like refrigerators and freezers. Temperature controlling items like dehumidifiers and air conditions are being sold so fast, the store doesn’t have time to unbox the items.

“It doesn’t look neat, but it’s ‘cause they go in quick and go out fast. It doesn’t pay to un-crate them,” Grebe said.

Experts say buying right now is the smartest move, since it’s not clear when delays will end. But if someone is looking to buy now and avoid the wait, Gadbois and Grebe say to shop at stores that have good relationships with manufacturers.

“Shopping at independent retailers that have a great relationship with the manufacturer specifically can really be a benefit right now,” Gadbois explained.

“We’ve been with the General Electric company for 52 years. Consequentially when things get tough sometimes they’ll take care of us,” Grebe added.

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