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Why it’s taking so long to get your new furniture delivered

May 18, 2021, 11:00 PM UTC

Picking up a new couch for the living room takes a lot of patience these days.

Delivery times are soaring, and customers are often having to wait months for their purchases to show up. Delivery times for La-Z-Boy, for example, now stand at an “unprecedented” five to nine months.

The delays are the result of a perfect storm of issues, but that’s little solace to consumers who are eager to bring a new look to the homes in which they’ve spent the last 15 months in isolation. And it’s bound to be a source of frustration for Memorial Day shoppers, who are eager to take advantage of the usual deals found during that holiday weekend.

Some of the problems can be blamed on the six-day-long blockage of the Suez Canal in March. That lodged cargo ship resulted in delays of many other ships, several of which were filled with furniture. And even when they did finally arrive, they reached congested ports, which are slowing shipments further. Many container ships are being forced to anchor off shore and wait to dock and unload, since there’s a shortage of truck drivers as well.

Even U.S.-made furniture is taking longer to make, though, due to a foam shortage that has affected manufacturers. That started when Texas was stuck in a deep freeze in February, since chemical plants that provide the necessary components to make the foam were shut down for extended periods.

Add that on top of that, there is short-staffing in factories and COVID-19-inspired delays. Virtually no furniture chain can keep up, especially with the skyrocketing demand for all sorts of items. The Washington Post notes that annual sales at mattress makers Tempur Sealy International, Casper Sleep, and Purple Innovation have jumped between 20% and 50% compared to a year ago.

Have an emergency and can’t wait several months for a couch? Your best bet is to ask about buying a floor model, or become a lot more flexible when it comes to style or color. Alternatively, upscale used furniture stores will let you take home pieces immediately.

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