SOMERSET – Demand is fine, but without supply it can be a tricky proposition.
That’s been the paradox for local retailers of white goods — appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers — who since the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic have engaged in a balancing act of selling what they have while waiting for suppliers to replenish their inventory.
“Demand has been just enormous and supply is down, and that’s not a good combination,” said Leah MacLeod, owner of Iz Schwartz Appliance on Slade’s Ferry Avenue in Somerset.
Hers is one of the few remaining independent, retail appliance stores in Greater Fall River.
Grandfather Isaac Schwartz opened it in 1979. MacLeod became sole proprietor 12 years ago after the death of her father Barry, who in the 1980s had gone into business with his father.
Iz Schwartz Appliance and other stores of that ilk never had to completely shut down because of their designation by the state as “essential businesses.”
MacLeod, however, said she had to close her showroom from March until May 1, during which time she concentrated on online sales.
And she says it wasn’t until June 1 that customers could come inside the building without an appointment.
MacLeod said the COVID-19 coronavirus during the last nearly five months has crimped the ability of both domestic and foreign manufacturers to keep up with demand for merchandise.
Some of those suppliers, she notes, temporarily shut down their manufacturing plants once the severity of the pandemic became apparent.
Manufacturers across the board, she said, have continued to significantly limit