Still waiting on that couch you ordered back in January? Delayed furniture delivery times are occurring across the U.S. due to production backlogs and inventory shortages for one essential material: foam.
The shortage reportedly began in February when a winter storm shut down all five U.S. plants (four in Texas and one in Louisiana). These plants are essential, as they produce the main chemical (propylene oxide) needed to make foam. The furniture industry isn’t the only thing being affected by this shortage though as mattresses, automobiles, boats, appliances, building construction, and the steelmaking industry have all been negatively impacted.
What is foam?
This material is a petroleum-based product used to create a soft and absorbent material used in a wide variety of products. It’s commonly used to cushion the seats of cars, added as insulation in homes, and is a common material for mattresses.
Though the plants were closed for several days, it ended up taking a few weeks for them to get back up and running. Jerry Epperson, managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson—an investment bank for the furniture industry—and EverChem Specialty Chemicals told USA Today that this was due to plants running at 120% capacity to meet strong consumer demand when storm-related power outages and flooding knocked them out abruptly, ultimately damaging equipment.
More from woman&home:
• Best air purifiers to improve air quality in your home
• Best kitchen gadgets that are as fun as they are functional
• How to clean marble gently yet effectively without damaging it
A serious backlog was also generated from this as demand for new furniture, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. Even though production has started back up, foam plants are still struggling to keep up with demand.
“We really couldn’t catch up,” Epperson told USA Today.
Rylee is a U.S. news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life who primarily covers lifestyle, celebrity, and fashion news. At times, she also reports on beauty, royals, entertainment, health, and travel. The latest fashion and beauty trends, along with any quirky travel destinations are her favorite topics to write about.
Before coming to woman&home and My Imperfect Life, Rylee originally studied journalism at Hofstra University where she explored her interests in world politics and magazine writing. From there, she dabbled in freelance writing covering fashion and beauty e-commerce for outlets such as the TODAY show, American Spa Magazine, First for Women, and Woman’s World.
When she’s not writing articles, you can find her testing out one of the many restaurants New York City has to offer and planning her next travel destination. Her other hobbies also include hiking, ballet, yoga, and reading practically any book TikTok recommends.
How to play Wordle—hacks to help you improve in this tricky word game
Wordle is the new game that everyone seems to be obsessed with—but how can you play this tricky game and how can you improve?
By Laura Harman • Published
Diana Ross' tribute to Thierry Mugler, in daring outfit, shows 'a wonderful time' in their lives
Diana Ross' tribute to Thierry Mugler, who has died age 73, celebrates their bond and what was a 'wonderful time' in the friends' lives
By Aoife Hanna • Published