Empty shelves at Ottawa stores due to COVID-19 disruptions in supply chain
OTTAWA -- Those looking to upgrade their home may have to wait a little longer than usual this fall in Ottawa.
“They were quite empty in the warehouse for the furniture portion,” said Kevin Keats, who was at Ikea with his family Saturday afternoon.
The Stittsville resident was looking for a fridge, but once inside noticed the warehouse was pretty sparse.
"Everything was in short supply," said Keats. "I’m figuring it’s going to take a long time to get it. The last time they said it could take up to eights months to a year."
Ikea stores in North America are among the hardest hit by product shortages. On Thursday, the chief executive of Inter Ikea Group said the biggest challenge is getting the goods out of China, where roughly a quarter of Ikea products are made.
Other Ottawa businesses also feeling the effects as demand for products have surged.
"If you tried to buy a freezer a year ago, you’re probably just taking delivery of it now," said Robin Lee, the CEO of Lee Valley Tools. He added customers could expect delivery delays due to the disruption in supply linked to COVID-19.
On their website, the Canadian company says expected delivery dates are changing frequently with orders made right now expected to be delivered in 2022.
"I don’t think people understand how complex the supply chain is with every Canadian business," he said. "We are talking about everything that goes into a product. It can be something as small as a computer chip… where something as small as a missing element making it really tough to make raw materials."
It comes at a critical time with the holiday season fast approaching. Some shoppers tell CTV News Ottawa the products they’re looking for are already out-of-stock.
"I work in the restaurant industry and there are a bunch of supplies we can’t get in right now," said one shopper.
"Walmart, their shelves are empty … no selections,” said another shopper. "Very limited."
Meantime, Lee says it will take in 12 to 18 months for pre-pandemic supply to resume. And for those in urgent need of an upgrade, he says to get the product or order it now if it's available instead of waiting.