Retailers like Lemens Hardware in Luxemburg are trying to be as patient as their consumers when it comes to keeping items in stock for when people need them. Nationwide, items have been on backorder for many local businesses because of pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions. Factories have not returned to full capacity in efforts to keep their employees safe while on the assembly line. Jim Lemens says appliance dealers like him are waiting between two and four months to receive orders for some models that go direct to customers without ever hitting the sales floor. He says the supply shortage has led to an increase in his repair services while both the store and the customer play the waiting game.
If a repair is not possible, Lemens says they do their best to source an appliance that best fits the customer's needs for a short-term fix while the appliance stays on backorder. With stores large and small experiencing the same challenges keeping items in stock, he encourages shoppers to buy local and be patient.