Sarah and Adam Nichols are still waiting on a sofa and love seat they ordered in September to furnish their new home, a five-bedroom Victorian house near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The last estimated arrival: sometime in January. Ms. Nichols, 33, who works for an office supply company, estimates the likelihood of this at 60 percent.
"The lady who helped us in the store that day and took our order said pretty precisely, "I know this is going to stink pretty much, you want your furniture now and that's all I can offer," said Ms. Nichols. 33.
Until the furniture arrives, the two sit on a rocking chair and a couple of folding chairs in the living room. Even used items were hard to come by, like chairs for their dining table. “I could probably use them; That's fine because I could tinker and fix it, ”she said. "But every time something comes up, they're gone within an hour."
She eventually found a row of chairs at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and grabbed them. "You almost had to buy impulse," she said.
These delays could be with us for a while. The pandemic is getting worse even if vaccines leak. And world trade is a complicated animal plagued by breakdowns with no quick fixes. "It will be months, if not years, before we can reach normal levels of meeting these needs," said Hong.
For General Judd, interior designer and principal at Me and General Design in Brooklyn, the changes reset expectations and sent him back to the drawing board to redesign rooms and explain to clients that a material that used to take six weeks is now it could take six months or more to arrive. "We learned to turn," he said.
But he saw the problem as an extension of his experience in the grocery store, where he is no longer surprised when paper towels run out of stock. "We used to travel so fast and everything was available immediately, and you get used to it," said Judd. "And now that we've thrown that wrench in, we should use this time to look back and say," Hey, you know, it will get here when it gets here. "
Until then we just have to wait.
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