Consumer Reports

Furniture Delivery Delayed? You're Not the Only One

Furniture retailers say customers should expect delivery delays as the industry is stretched to capacity

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Newlyweds Michael and Susan Desantis of Burke, Virginia, decided a fresh start was a perfect way to begin their life together.

"We needed everything," Michael said.

On New Year's Day, they purchased thousands of dollars worth of furniture from Ashely Homestore. They agreed to a partial delivery and the rest, they were told, would be delivered about eight weeks later.

But what happened in eight weeks?

"Nothing," Susan said.

Then another four weeks passed. Still nothing.

According to the couple, every time they called they got the same answer.

"She said, you know, 'We’ll call you when it comes in. 'We’re getting another delivery.' They never called back," Michael said.

"I see your segments all the time. … I just thought to reach out and see what happens," Michael told News4.

One week after News4 reached out to Ashley Homestore, the rest of their furniture was delivered.

"One phone call from you guys and it cleared it right up," Michael said.

Ashley Homestore didn't answer News4's questions about why the furniture was so delayed, but the National Retail Federation says inventory on everything from furniture to appliances is a challenge for retailers nationwide.

"The entire system really is stretched to capacity right now," said Jonathan Gold, with the National Retail Federation.

While production that slowed during the pandemic is ramping back up, it's still not meeting demand, Gold said.

Transportation is a major reason for the delays.

"It really starts overseas with the availability of the empty containers to put the products on to get to the United States, whether it's finished goods or an input to production that a U.S. manufacturer needs.

Consumers can expect this trend to continue for many more months.

"What that means for the consumer is that you may not find exactly what you want when you want it," said Tobie Stanger, with Consumer Reports.

Stanger says to look into independent stores.

"They're in a cooperative and, often, they have a better idea of what the real supply is than the people you're speaking with at the big box stores," she said.

Consider items with cosmetic imperfections or buy used so you know it's in stock.

If you're waiting on a delivery and want to scrap the purchase, Consumer Reports says check the cancellation policy. Typically, customers can cancel before delivery.

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