“People have been sitting at home, nesting. They are not traveling or going on vacation. So they are redoing kitchens and bathrooms and all kinds of stuff. We used to, when we ordered an appliance, get it in a week to two weeks. I have stuff on order now that we’re not going to see till April.”
When consumers can’t get that hands on a new Maytag, they are forced to get their current one fixed.
Colby Jones is owner of C.J. Appliance Repair in Tulsa.
“I’ve been doing this for 11 years and every February and March, business slows down completely,” he said. “This summer, I could have hired another probably two technicians and at least another office lady just to answer the phones. The surge in call volume was ridiculous.”
Jones’ business was fielding an average of 800 service calls per month during the summer, he said. Pre-pandemic, it was about 75.
“People were panicking,” Jones said. “Anybody can get by without their dishwasher. You can wash dishes by hand. It’s not an emergency. But you have to get a fridge fixed. People would freak out about that.”
The coronavirus has had a telling impact on Whirlpool, which is the leading kitchen and laundry appliance company in the world and has a large presence in the Tulsa metro.