Empty shelves in Ottawa stores due to COVID-19 supply chain disruption



OTTAWA – Those looking to modernize their homes may have to wait a little longer than usual this fall in Ottawa.

“They were quite empty in the warehouse for the furniture part,” said Kevin Keats, who was at Ikea with his family on Saturday afternoon.

The Stittsville resident was looking for a refrigerator, but once inside he noticed that the warehouse was quite sparse.

“Everything was in short supply,” Keats said. “I guess it’s going to take a long time to get it. The last time they said it could take up to eight months to a year.”

Ikea stores in North America are among the hardest hit by product shortages. On Thursday, the managing director of the Inter Ikea group said the biggest challenge was getting goods out of China, where about a quarter of Ikea products are made.

Other businesses in Ottawa are also feeling the effects of increased product demand.

“If you tried to buy a freezer a year ago, you are probably picking up delivery now,” said Robin Lee, CEO of Lee Valley Tools. He added that customers could expect delivery delays due to the supply disruption linked to COVID-19.

On its website, the Canadian company says expected delivery dates change frequently, with orders currently placed to be delivered in 2022.

“I don’t think people understand how complex the supply chain is with all Canadian businesses,” he said. “We’re talking about everything that goes into a product. It could be something as small as a computer chip … or something as small as a missing part makes it very difficult to manufacture raw materials. “

It comes at a critical juncture with the holiday season fast approaching. Some buyers tell CTV News Ottawa that the products they are looking for are already out of stock.

“I work in the restaurant industry and there are a bunch of supplies that we can’t afford right now,” said one buyer.

“Walmart, their shelves are empty… no selections,” said another shopper. “Very limited.”

In the meantime, Lee says it will take 12 to 18 months for pre-pandemic supply to resume. And for those in urgent need of an upgrade, he says get the product or order it now if it’s available instead of waiting.


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