Room Air Conditioners In Short Supply

By Alan Wolf On May 2 2011 - 4:01am

NEW YORK – Room air is a critical cash-flow category – if you can get your hands on it.

For all but the largest retailers, window units have been in short supply this season, due in part dealers say, to supplychain issues with Chinesemade compressors.

While manufacturers including Haier and LG have been mum on the issue, retailers have been less reticent. “I’ve never had this problem in 40 years,” noted Eddie Maloney, president of Cowboy Maloney’s Electric City. “Normally I’m looking for the best price. Now I’m just looking for air conditioners.”

Adam Thomas, appliance marketing senior VP for the Nationwide Marketing Group concurred. “There is no question that the compressor shortage is causing concern as it relates to product availability,” he said. “We continue to work closely to understand the scope of the problem, but have been able to ensure adequate supply to our biggest users.”

Even appliance powerhouse P.C. Richard & Son, the country’s seventh-largest majap dealer, experienced shipment delays. “Room air came in a little later than planned,” acknowledged president Gregg Richard. “The vendors were a week or two late in shipping. It wasn’t the end of the world.”

Gregg said manufacturers have assured the chain that its demand forecasts, which were made last year, will be met. “We may have problems getting reorders, though.”

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