In the beginning of the year, it was spotty enough that you could pretty much ignore it, but the situation is getting so crazy at the supply level that we owe you a detailed explanation.
Typically in the flooring industry, price increases happen once every 18 months or so, and they are usually incremental – roughly 5% or so – unless something funky happens like your occasional natural disaster, then you get a higher price increase, but it’s usually temporary until the situation stabilizes.
What’s happening right now is not like anything we’ve ever seen before and nobody really knows what’s going to happen next. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve gotten multiple 10% or more price increases from suppliers in the first quarter of 2021 with warnings that more are coming over the next few months.
Lead times on products that used to be a rock-solid two weeks from time of order are now 12 or more weeks on some domestic products. On imported products, it could be 16 weeks, while the price jumps occur with little or no warning.
It’s nuts right now, so be prepared for seemingly random pricing and lead time jumps. No joke, I literally got a notification that 23 SKUs have been dropped effectively immediately. We’re going to do everything we can to get out ahead of it and work with you, but you’ve got to stay in touch with us so we can help.
What we’re doing: We are leveraging our influence in the industry to find who has product, and what is available and when. We’ve even started talking to suppliers who have yet to have any presence in the United States. We’re working to get you access to things nobody else can get.
Bottom line is this situation is not going to fix itself anytime soon, but we can do this; we’ve just got to stick together. Promise me you'll keep up in the loop, and I’ll promise we’ve got your back.