NEW YORK â€“
Room air is a critical cash-flow category â€“ 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. â€œIâ€™ve never had this problem in 40 years,â€ noted Eddie Maloney, president of Cowboy Maloneyâ€™s Electric City. â€œNormally Iâ€™m looking for the best price. Now Iâ€™m just looking for air conditioners.â€
Adam Thomas, appliance marketing senior VP for the Nationwide Marketing Group concurred. â€œThere is no question that the compressor shortage is causing concern as it relates to product availability,â€ he said. â€œWe continue to work closely to understand the scope of the problem, but have been able to ensure adequate supply to our biggest users.â€
Even appliance powerhouse P.C. Richard & Son, the countryâ€™s seventh-largest majap dealer, experienced shipment delays. â€œRoom air came in a little later than planned,â€ acknowledged president Gregg Richard. â€œThe vendors were a week or two late in shipping. It wasnâ€™t the end of the world.â€
Gregg said manufacturers have assured the chain that its demand forecasts, which were made last year, will be met. â€œWe may have problems getting reorders, though.â€