Over the past year and a half, shoppers have gotten used to seeing several products out of stock whether at stores or online. Shortages have hit many different sectors due to a variety of supply chain issues, like the COVID pandemic, production delays, and rising costs. And while some companies say they're trying to fix problems as soon as possible, certain retailers are warning customers that these shortages will be anything but short-lived. If you're planning to do any home redecorating in the next year, you might have some trouble, as one of the most popular home stores says its products will still be harder to find in 2022. Read on to find out which retailer is likely to be suffering long-term.
Ikea is warning customers that major supply issues will last through next year.
Like many other retailers, Ikea is facing an onslaught of shortages. The popular home store recently informed customers that this is not a problem that will go away any time soon. In fact, the retailer expects that its products will continue to be harder to find through most of 2022.
"We actually foresee that the availability and raw materials challenge will continue for the better part, if not the whole, of [the financial year to the end of August]. This is here for a longer period than we thought of at the beginning of the crisis," Jon Abrahamsson Ring, the chief executive of Inter Ikea, owner of the Ikea brand, told the Financial Times.
Congested ports have caused major issues for the retailer.
According to the BBC, Ikea said it is struggling to supply about 10 percent of its stock. Jesper Brodin, the chief executive of Ingka, which operates the majority of Ikea stores, told the news outlet that a large issue is a backup at ports which is causing delays for the retailer's furniture distribution. The BBC just reported that a key British commercial port has been suffering from congested shipping containers due to increased Christmas supply and a lack of drivers. As a result, Ikea has been forced to purchase additional shipping containers and charter vessels to try to address product shortages at ports.
"From a realistic point, we need to live with disturbances for the year to come, but things will gradually get better, I'm sure," Brodin said, adding that "there is no easy fix to any of this even if people are working hard across not only Ikea but also across the world."
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Customers say they've noticed shortages at their Ikea stores.
It's already clear that product shortages have hit actual Ikea stores, as some customers have taken to Twitter to talk about their shopping experiences. "I ventured out to Ikea as I wanted a Ribba frame and a small bedside table. Both items sold out. Was surprised at how many items are not in stock," one person tweeted Oct. 13, noting that staff acknowledged backed-up ports were the reason.
Other customers have complained about the wait time for certain products to come back in stock. "Why the Ikea shortage? Been waiting 2 months for my rail to be in stock," one Twitter user said. Another tweeted, "Went to Ikea yesterday and was looking for drawers for a cabinet I got. They said it was gonna be longer than 4-5 weeks before they're gonna get a new shipment in. YIKES. This shortage is crazy."
Several of the retailer's most popular items are also listed out of stock online.
Right now on Ikea's website, several items are listed as low in stock or out of stock, including many of the retailer's most popular sofas, tables, and chairs. The retailer says that employees are not able to reserve products for purchase, do not have access to a special reserve or extra stock, and only see the same stock availability numbers that you do.
"The impact from the corona pandemic results in backlogs in production with suppliers and challenges in the world wide transportation capacity overseas. Because of this, there is currently some delay in the supply of certain products. This can influence the availability of products in the (online) stores. We are doing everything we can to make most of our products available for you soon," Ikea notes on its website, adding that for items in stock, "Operations continue but delivery times are running longer than usual."