Shriro general manager – appliance division, Brad Street shared some insights with Appliance Retailer in a recent video interview around the company’s outlook for stock supply as we enter the second half of the year.
“We have never been in this situation before and there’s a lot of concern around the economy. When the pandemic started, we weren’t sure if retail was going to shut down, if we were going to be able to go to the shops, how long people were going to be locked down for,” Street said.
“Taking this into consideration, both manufacturers and merchants, took the conservative approach with inventory and obviously, inventory is cash so if you have a lot of surplus inventory, it will impact your bottom line.
“Initially that was a stance that we had to try and balance and then we had manufacturing plants closing down because of the seriousness of COVID-19 for them. This then created the next step in the process of whether or not they could supply stock and if so, the timeframe around shipping and delivery and it just keeps flowing down the logistics track.
“I am happy with our outcomes and where we are at. We are certainly engaged with our manufacturing partners and they have had their own challenges, but we believe we have got out of it relatively unscathed.
“From an appliance and sink and tap perspective, who would’ve thought we would continue to see the numbers we’ve seen over the last couple of months. You wouldn’t think people are going to panic buy an oven and have five ovens sitting in their garage, that’s just not going to be the case.
“It has just moved phase by phase and people are using their appliances more than ever before, so they are looking to upgrade their appliances because they aren’t working as well as they want them to be.
“We have got through it OK so far. I think the biggest category challenge for us has been dishwashers with sales going through the roof but it’s a tough segment because it’s very margin poor, but consumers are certainly driving volume in that space.”
Moving forward into Q3 and Q4, Street doesn’t foresee any significant issues for the company with componentry factories in China back up and running.
“Europe is still an issue, but they are three to four weeks behind China and factories are starting to re-open there. We are working hard with our manufacturing partners, and our supply and product teams are in constant contact on a daily basis.
“I don’t think there will be too much of a challenge. There may be outages for different SKUs at different times but overall, it has been pretty good.”