▶️ Pandemic causing backorders, but customers still spending on home improvements

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Local businesses like Johnson Brother Appliances and Bedmart are busy heading into the start of the holiday shopping season.

“Anecdotally I would say we’ve seen maybe a 10-to-15% increase in some product categories and probably higher in some specific ones, in the cases where we can actually fill those orders,” said David Johnson, general manager, Johnson Brothers Appliance.

Johnson has seen bigger sales compared to last year, especially in the last six months.

He believes some of that increase is because people aren’t spending money on vacations, so they’re focused on upgrading their home instead.

He also added, the increase in population to Central Oregon also plays a big factor.

Johnson said some items are hard to come by due to supply chain issues.

Materials used in some mattresses are needed for medical masks.

In other cases, factories may be impacted by an outbreak

“The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain from top to bottom pretty significantly,” Johnson said. “A lot of manufacturers, whether they are in this country or out of this country have had to revant their factories, reduce the number of people on the lines. So that has affected their production capacity. It has gone down.”

Elana Stone-Johnson, vice president of marketing at Bend’s Bedmart, has a similar problem with her vendors.

“There are really only two manufacturers in the US that make the springs, coils that go into the mattress,” Stone-Johnson said. “So those two manufacturers, they have issues with having people come to work and be healthy and not have these outbreaks, but just to have these materials in the first place.”

She says they’re seeing more customers in store and online and believes that success is because of careful planning.

“During the stay home orders, while the stores were shut down, we actually really started to load up on our inventory in anticipation of supply chain issues,” Stone-Johnson said.

Johnson Brothers Appliance and Bedmart are both expect sales to increase heading into the holidays.

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