First it Was Toilet Paper — Now We’re Running Out of Fridges

If you’re looking to buy a new fridge you may be out of luck. Earlier in the pandemic, there was a run on toilet paper. Now it seems that customers looking to buy a refrigerator are facing long waiting times as models are back-ordered across the country. There are also shortages for other major appliances including dishwashers, dryers and some microwaves.

▪ John Taylor, senior vice president of LG Electronics USA, said that the industry as a whole is experiencing unprecedented demand when it comes to major appliances. In lieu of spending on family vacations, dinners out or movies and concerts, people are looking to invest in their homes and focus on energy savings.

Coronavirus has also slowed manufacturing and created problems with shipping. “There are supply chain challenges across the globe whether because of people not being able to work to manufacture the items or because they can’t physically ship units from a warehouse,” Sara Skirboll, shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot,

▪ Howard Glickman, appliance advisor at Airs Appliances in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said that all refrigerators are on backorder. In order to get one, customers need to order and pay for them in advance. This has more to do with the supply chain rather than demand. “If you order a fridge the manufacturers are working at 25-50 percent capacity, there’s a problem. Imports are taking forever” he explained.

▪ Looking ahead to Black Friday, Taylor said that he expects to see fewer deals to be had when it comes to major appliances. “We anticipate industry-wide that there will be fewer promotions around home appliances as a simple matter of supply and demand,” he said.

▪ If you’re buying big ticket items this season, whether it’s an appliance or a tv — be mindful of new increased shipping fees with major carriers. Instead of ordering items like these online, especially if they’re heavy, consider taking advantage of ‘buy online, pick up curbside’ which is a safe alternative to shopping in the store.



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