Reno plans dashed by whiteware wait

AppliancePlus Blenheim owner Michael Fitzpatrick. Photo: Matt Brown.

Kiwis turning to home renovations in the wake of Covid-19 are facing lengthy waits for whiteware.

Low interest rates and soaring house prices have seen people cashing in to carry out renovation work.

But a world-wide shortage of appliances is being felt across Marlborough, with some customers waiting weeks for new goods.

Kitchen and laundry appliances, like ovens and washing machines, are in short supply with some models taking nearly two months to arrive on our shores.

AppliancePlus Blenheim owner Michael Fitzpatrick says a surge of buyers as the coronavirus pandemic closed factories around the world created the “perfect storm”

“Most appliances we’re ordering today are not available,” Michael says.

“We’re waiting one or two months for stock, some even longer.”

“We’ve got multiple brands and plenty of stock but ff it’s not in store, it’s a six week wait.”

Michael says appliance sales are up across the board throughout the country.

“It’s a combination of no holidays for 12 months and low interest rates triggering excess capital for home improvements.

“Out of COVID we had a massive surge and suppliers haven’t been able to catch up.

100% Herkt Appliances store owner Lisa Herkt says there have been “massive disruptions” in the supply chain.

“There may be ovens sitting in factories in Thailand 98 per cent complete waiting on a component from Europe,” she says.

“Covid is still happening worldwide on a grand scale.

“Things are dribbling through, but not at the scale they were. We’ve been in the game for 30-odd years and we’ve never seen anything like it. It’s bizarre.”

She says disruptions began in February and she’s forecasting for ongoing difficulties through November.

“It depends on how it plays out and where stock’s coming from,” she says.

“Distribution is a big one – there are less boats moving around. The days of things being made in New Zealand are long gone – it’s a global market now.

“Noone could have predicted the scale of disruption.”

Michael says he doesn’t know of any price rises this side of Christmas.

“We had price rises on the first of July, once we came out of COVID.

“I’m not seeing the level of discounting there was before – because there’s a lack of stock.”

He says it’s still a very competitive market and if you’re planning to do a renovation in November, you need to order appliances now.

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