If you’ve been searching fruitlessly for patio furniture all summer, you’re not the only one. It’s currently sold out in many big-box stores with few new shipments in sight, leaving showroom floors empty and shoppers frustrated.
Outdoor furniture is just the latest product to experience a bottleneck in the supply chain just as consumer demand surges, along with items like seafood, imported cheeses, sporting goods, vehicles, and even basic ingredients to make your favorite Starbucks drink. Doing without a wedge of Bleu de Termignon for a few months may be no big deal, but after our long year of COVID lockdowns, we’re all ready to relax in a new lawn chair with a tropical drink in hand.
Patio furniture manufacturers are still busy churning out all the tables, chairs, loungers and umbrellas they can handle, but a big part of the problem lies in the shipping process. Containers full of goods are languishing at ports, waiting for their turn to be hauled across the ocean to their destination. Retailers are seeing delays of up to six months to receive goods they’ve already sold online using stock photos. At the same time, customers flush with cash are spending freely. Natural disasters, labor shortages, tensions with China, lingering effects of the pandemic, and other complex forces are all having an effect as well.
When will patio furniture be available at stores like Costco and Home Depot again? Possibly not until 2022 or 2023, unfortunately, according to manufacturers interviewed by The Associated Press.
Score Patio Furniture Online
The good news is, there’s still patio furniture to be found online and in your area. The selections may be a little sparser than usual, but retailers like Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond, Walmart, and Amazon still have plenty of options to choose from. You’ll just have to forgo seeing it in person before making your purchase (and possibly wait a little longer to receive it). Some great examples of items you can snag right now include the Lark Manor Pyron three piece rattan rocking chair bistro set, the Tuoze 5-piece patio furniture sectional set, and the Best Choice acacia wood lounge chair with a built-in side table.
Find New Favorites by American Companies
The current patio furniture shortage is a great excuse to lower your carbon footprint and support the economy by buying American and even local, if possible. USA Love List has a source guide for American-made patio furniture, and there might just be an amazing producer in your state you didn’t previously know about. Fiberlite Umbrellas is the only manufacturer that designs, sources, and manufactures fiberglass umbrellas in the USA, for instance, and Lloyd Flanders produces high-quality wicker outdoor furniture in Michigan. Nags Head Hammocks are made locally in North Carolina, and Polywood furniture is made in the USA out of recycled plastics and sold on Amazon. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for makers that might be located right in your own backyard, too.
Shop for Secondhand Treasures
In our era of disposability, a lot of outdoor furniture is cast aside or sent to the dump just because of small flaws that can easily be fixed. Don’t forget to check your local thrift stores, secondhand furniture stores, flea markets, and even the curb for items that just need a little love. Fraying fabric slats on a lounge chair can be replaced with a new material, wicker furniture gets a new lease on life with spray paint, and you might be surprised at how easily wood can be refinished.