Yes, the short answer is: Covid-19 has made it's mark on the furniture industry as well as nearly all industries. But we are working around the clock to minimize that effect on you. Read more below.
Lead Times for Custom, Made to Order Furniture
Custom furniture isn't fast even in the best of times, let alone during the era of Covid-19. Customers know that made to order furniture is going to take awhile, no matter where you purchase it. At Vermont Woods Studios we're typically talking 6-12 weeks for crafting plus another 1-6 weeks for delivery, depending on where you live relative to our workshops in Vermont. Customers are OK with that because, well- it's worth it. It's definitely worth the wait.
The Coronavirus is often adding a month or more to our lead times for made to order furniture. The wait can be frustrating, especially if you've gotten rid of your old bed and are now sleeping on the floor! We feel you pain & we're doing everything we can to speed things up, however much of the delay is out of our hands.
Covid's Impact on Furniture Makers
8 Weeks of Shutdown + Loss of Inventory
Remember March and April, when the whole country basically shut down due to the coronavirus? That meant 8 weeks of shutdown and lost productivity for manufacturers of furniture and all other goods. Inventories were drawn down at that time, further adding to the backlog once operations resumed.
Smaller Workforce Due to Coronavirus
When workshops and factories were able to re-open, they had fewer people returning back to work. Some were sick, some were in quarantine and some were looking after family members who had Covid. Thankfully, the situation is better now. Most everyone is back to work but industries across the board are still facing a backlog.
Demand For New Furniture Has Surged
Were you planning a vacation this year? If Covid put the kibosh on that, you're probably staying home. Like most people, the more time you spend nesting at home, the more you realize, "I need new dining furniture" or "We need to replace our outdoor patio furniture" or "Let's re-do our master bedroom". Right? You're not alone. Demand for furniture has surged. We're adding shifts, working overtime and hiring craftspeople but catching up does take time.
Polywood Outdoor Furniture
Polywood has always been the product we can deliver fastest. But that was until Covid showed up. Now most Polywood furniture has a 9 week lead time. Their aluminum frame products are simply unavailable. Customer service people at Polywood have been re-assigned to the factory floor in order to try and catch up. Unfortunately Covid has created a kind of perfect storm of delays that's affecting just about every manufacturer in the country.
Can I get My Furniture Faster Somewhere Else?
No. Honest. Every retailer I know of is in the same situation. You may find websites that show shorter lead times but my guess is that's because they haven't updated their websites with Covid delays. If custom, made to order furniture is what you're looking for, it's best to get your order in sooner than later. Demand is only projected to increase so lead times are likely to increase too. All I can say is, it's worth waiting for.
Covid Is Increasing Lead Time on Everything Else Too
It's not just furniture. Did you know you can't even get a Dr Pepper in many areas? It seems we're all home drinking so much soda that aluminum cans are in short supply. We're cooking more so kitchen appliances are hard to get. Honest, it's not just toilet paper and hand sanitizer anymore. Covid shortages are everywhere. Want to buy a new bicycle? Stand in line. A new computer? Anything that has parts coming from China... better sit down for that wait.
What We're Doing To Help
I wish we could overcome all this global pandemic stuff completely, but truth be told, we're a small business in Vermont. We're feisty though! And we work with our craftspeople everyday, creating synergy and efficiency. We speed up shipping and administrative processes so the romance that comes from knowing someone put the very best of themselves into a piece is never compromised. We honestly believe our Vermont made furniture is worth waiting for.
Don't Give Up
Please know that your purchase is supporting craftspeople and communities throughout Vermont. You are greatly appreciated! Give us a call if you order seems like it's taking longer than you expected. We can't promise it will be there tomorrow but we can say we're doing our very best to get it to you safely and as soon as possible. I hope you'll feel like we do, that it's worth the wait.