Several Connexion readers said they were repeatedly unable to find household items such as light bulbs and firewood, as well as fresh foods including oranges, strawberries, raspberries and peas.
Another reader said: “Ordinary household furniture like bookcases were out of stock at Ikea near Caen this week. I noticed a lot of empty shelves in the warehouse. I had to buy an alternative which was not my choice, but limited stock forced me to accept that or nothing.
Problems with raw materials
Furniture shortages have been widely reported across Europe, with Ikea saying on its website that: “At the moment we have significant issues with the availability of our products.
“We are having difficulty producing and transporting items around the world.
“Following the various confinements and the slowdown in the operations of our suppliers, we are having difficulty restocking our stores and responding to the still important desire of many to improve their living spaces.
The Covid-induced movement towards home working has indeed led to an increased demand for furniture items, according to the secretary of furniture business association, National Federation of Trade, Furniture and Home Equipment, Jean-Charles Vogley .
Mr Vogley told The Parisian that in the first seven months of 2021, furniture sales were up 8% compared to the same period in 2019.
“We cannot say with certainty [when certain products will be in stock again]”Ikea added, but“ we are doing everything we can to make sure our products are available as soon as possible. ”
Ikea France declined to comment further on these shortages, for fear of creating a panic effect that could exacerbate the problem.
However, an Ikea spokesperson told business magazine Mieux Vivre Votre Argent that, to deal with shortages, the company has in some cases reduced the number of colors available for a piece of furniture to ensure more large offer of more popular shades.
Ikea’s supply problems have been caused in part by a shortage of materials, including wood, aluminum, plastic and steel, which is felt around the world.
The plastic film and film association IVK Europe reported in June that there was no end in sight for the packaging shortages exacerbated by rising prices and lack of raw materials.
It also results in issues of titles for French toy companies like King Jouet, which told Franceinfo that 20% of its products were out of stock at the start of the month.
Supply is not expected to return to normal before the start of 2022 according to company director Philippe Gueydon, which could lead to price increases before Christmas.
Even when there is no shortage of materials, considerable congestion at major ports, which still often operate at reduced speeds – especially in China, the country where a quarter of Ikea’s products come from – is slowing deliveries to stores and homes.
Finally, the blockade of the Suez Canal in March by Ever Given – which was carrying around 100 Ikea containers – only added additional stress to an already strained supply chain.
One shortage that was not caused by the Covid pandemic is in pasta supplies.
Read more: Ravioli rush? Pasta prices rise in France amid the global wheat crisis
Heavy rains in Europe and an unprecedented drought in Canada damaged crops, causing a global shortage of durum wheat, the main ingredient in most traditional pasta products.
At least 30% of durum wheat crops have been ruined by the record heat wave in Canada, which is the world’s largest grain producer.
Unusually heavy rains in Europe, including France, have not improved the global situation.
The price of durum wheat on the world market increased by 30% between mid-July and mid-August.
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