With stay-at-home orders forcing people to stay at home and cook more, naturally, they needed places to put extra food. According to NPR, freezers were a hot commodity in March, April, in May. Then people began buying refrigerators more. And now there's a refrigerator shortage.
Just like meat, flour, eggs, disinfecting wipes, and other items, manufacturing plants can't keep up with the demand for appliances. Factories assembling refrigerators had to close due to safety measures and to limit the number of people inside. With the economy in sudden turmoil, companies assumed demand would be down so slowing operations wouldn't be a problem, NPR says.
However, that was the opposite of what happened. Leaders of major electronic companies like LG and Electrolux told the news organization they are seeing "unprecedented demand." (Unfortunately, this trend isn't one-size-fits-all — these are the 8 Grocery Items That May Soon Be in Short Supply.)
It is fair to say that if something gets more use, it is more likely to wear down and break. Additionally, NPR says, when travel was restricted people "began obsessing over their immediate surroundings" in their homes. So without vacations or other expenses, a new fridge seems like a good thing to buy during the quarantine.
Products like machinery, appliances, and even some common household items contain many parts that come together during manufacturing. The CEO of Clorox says the reason their disinfecting wipes are in such short supply is due to a sharp increase in demand. But that's not all — one substance in the wipes is also in protective gear. And when essential workers need masks, medical gowns, and medical wipes, the supply chain gets tricky.
If you're in need of an appliance during the refrigerator shortage, you may have to wait a little while for supply to catch up. Experts say that like Clorox wipes, appliances might not be in stock until 2021.
This isn't the only item you can't get right now, There's a Worldwide Shortage of This Beloved Hot Beverage.