JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — First, it was toilet paper and cleaning supplies, now businesses tell First Coast News COVID-19 is causing another shortage — home office supplies and furniture.
In fact, the company Profitero reports the word "desk" was the second-most searched item on Amazon during July and August behind "face masks."
“A lot of people now who are working from home have typically been working on their home desk that they pay their bills on. They’re very small. They’re not commercial quality. They end up breaking and the chairs end up falling apart on you — like sinking and things like that," said Patrick Scully, a salesman at Interior Fusion Jacksonville.
Normally Interior Fusion Jacksonville sells office furniture to businesses. Scully said the sales of residential home office supplies doubled since the coronavirus pandemic began with people wanting to upgrade. The store's sales are even higher now than when the pandemic began.
The store is seeing shortages with steel and acrylic. The steel shortage affects filing cabinets, while the acrylic shortage affects protective dividers.
“With that, we typically saw a three to four week lead in production time," Scully said. "Now we’re seeing closer to six to eight weeks.”
The home office supply shortage is also a national issue. Corrie Barry, the CEO of Best Buy, sent First Coast News the following statement:
“Throughout the quarter, we experienced inventory constraints in a number of categories which did moderate our sales growth. While we expected product constraints as we entered the quarter, the stronger-than-anticipated demand as we opened our stores for shopping resulted in more constrained product availability than we expected.”
Those at Interior Fusion are preparing for the home office supply surge for the foreseeable future.
“They realize the pandemic isn’t going away anytime soon, or even if it does go away soon, we’re in this new normal," Scully said.