Coronavirus: Stores running low on office furniture as Canadians work from home – National

As Canadians continue to work and study from home this fall in anticipation of a second wave of COVID-19, furniture stores are running low on desks and chairs and other supplies for home offices.

Kristin Newbigging, a spokeswoman for Ikea Canada, said Monday that the company is seeing increased demand for products people need to create work and study spaces in their homes, at the same time as overseas suppliers are struggling with pandemic-caused shutdowns.

Read more:
Masks or face coverings now required at IKEA stores in B.C.

Ikea has about 1,000 home-furnishing suppliers in 50 countries. Its top supplier countries are China, Poland, Italy, Lithuania, Sweden and Germany, several of which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“(When) our suppliers are operational once again, they are receiving orders significantly above their normal demand,” Newbigging said.

Story continues below advertisement

That demand is creating a ripple effect that puts extra pressure on production and distribution, Newbigging said.

“Doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges that no one could have anticipated,” she said.

Karl Littler, the vice-president of the Retail Council of Canada, said it’s not particularly surprising the market didn’t anticipate the huge spike in demand for home-office items.










IKEA to employ hundreds of refugees


IKEA to employ hundreds of refugees

Many of those who are now working or studying from home have never done so before. Some who occasionally worked from home may have done so with makeshift set-ups, but when they’re doing it all week long, they need more durable and fit-for-purpose office furnishings, Littler said.

He said many factors have come together to put pressure on the system including the shutdown of furniture stores across the country for extended periods and the difficulty of transporting so many bulky goods both to stores and to buyers.

Story continues below advertisement

“I think the pressure will continue on for a few months,” he said, but eventually supply will meet demand.

“Furniture is not an everyday product ? Once you bought it, you have it.”

Read more:
Winnipeg Ikea store closed again after another positive COVID-19 test among employees

As more employers ask workers to continue working from home, the demand for office furnishings will remain at a high level, he said, and it will be hard for manufacturers and retailers to perfectly predict what the demand will be on an ongoing basis, Littler said.

“The steady state, once it’s settled into that, will be at a higher level than was the case before COVID-19,” he said.





© 2020 The Canadian Press

About admin

Check Also

Chinese company says coronavirus vaccine should be ready by early 2021 - National

Chinese company says coronavirus vaccine should be ready by early 2021 – National

A Chinese pharmaceutical company said Thursday the coronavirus vaccine it is developing should be …