'Never seen anything like this': North Carolina furniture stores see sales spike, shipment delays during pandemic

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Several furniture stores are seeing a spike in sales and say there's an insatiable demand for a spruce up homes. The increase is causing problems on the global stage.

"I've been here over 20 years and I've never seen anything like this," said Cooper's Furniture officer manager Alex White.

The Cary small business has been around more than 90 years. It opened during the Great Depression and is now experiencing what could be called a 'COVID boom.'

"As soon as you think it's going to stop, it gets busier and it doesn't appear to be an end in sight," said White.

The rise being attributed to several factors.

People have some extra money in their pockets from stimulus checks, they want a refresh after sitting home for so long or are reallocating funds they would have spent on vacations.

White says the thirst for new items is its putting immense pressure on manufacturers worldwide, especially imported pieces.

"The ports are overwhelmed, so sometimes the ships will stay in the water an extra few weeks," White said.

Cooper's is just getting in some items that were ordered over the summer.

"Desks are a hot seller right now," White said walking around a storage room.

Wait times don't seem much better looking ahead.

Furniture from one manufacturer, for instance, usually takes four to six weeks to arrive. The company says items won't arrive seven months from now until September.

Stores are fielding customers inquires wondering why there's a hold-up.

"As the person who checks the orders when people call, it's very frustrating. I'm with them," said White.

So here's the takeaway -- if you're in the market or thinking about buying, prepare yourself to wait longer from a production standpoint as well as delivery.
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