Product shortages are a persistent problem during the pandemic and families buying a new home or apartment to live in are having trouble filling it with furniture.

Mid-Michigan furniture stores say they have inventory, but if someone is looking for something specific, they may have trouble getting it right now.

Kathy Kilbourn, owner of Tri-City Furniture in Auburn, said staff shortages across the country are impacting her business.

“The manufacturers are really trying to find a lot of workers and then have to train them,” Kilbourn said.

Kilbourn uses American vendors and she said getting furniture isn’t a problem unless it’s a special order.

“I have lots and lots of stock right now and things that can be purchased right off the floor. But if you need something special like you wanted purple leather, then I’d have to order that,” Kilbourn said.

Kilbourn said upholstery companies need to find and train workers to keep up with demand. Right now, new hires are hard to come by, causing a delay for specific furniture purchases.

“Normally we would get anything you want in a different fabric made in three to six weeks. So, the quickest we have right now is four months and the longest is about 11 months,” Kilbourn said.

Kilbourn expects these issues to continue well into 2022.

“If you’re thinking of it, put your order in and get it going because first of all, it’s not getting faster, and second of all, the prices are not dropping yet. They keep going up,” Kilbourn said.

Kilbourn said, for the most part, customers have been understanding and sales at Tri-City Furniture have been strong.


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