Retailers encourage folks in the market for new lawn mowers to buy early

NOW: Retailers encourage folks in the market for new lawn mowers to buy early

WEST BEND, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Todd Tennies has been in the hardware business for decades. During that time, the owner of Tennies Ace Hardware in West Bend says he's never seen the supply chain issues impact his business like they have over the last two years.

"Very, very unprecedented," Tennies said. "This all goes back to the Covid pandemic."

The pandemic has caused supply chain issues all over the world. Hardware shops like Tennies experienced it first-hand during the winter months as snow blowers were hard to come by. Now, there's concern that it could happen during the summer months with lawn mowers and other types of outdoor supplies.

"We are noting that there are a lot of deficiencies in the supply chain," Tennies said. "Anything that's summer-related or spring-related that's outdoors, whether it's power equipment or lawn and garden patio furniture, there's all kinds of delays in all that kinds of stuff. Grills are another example."

Tennies says he was able to see the writing on the wall last year and acted accordingly, ordering enough units for his shops to feel comfortable. Still, he says if folks are looking to get their hands on a new machine, they need to act fast.

"I would definitely say buy early," Tennies said. "If you find what you're looking for, I would say buy it, because maybe by the middle of June or July, you may not see that product on the shelf until the following season."

Bill Brooks is the president of Proven Power in Waukesha. He echoed the warning from Tennies, adding that the cold, wet spring has amplified the need for lawn mowers now.

"It compresses the season. It definitely builds the amount of activity at a certain point in time," Brooks said. "At the moment, we haven't done too bad. There's certain models we've run out of already. There's certain models we've never even received this year."

Both men say that while supplies are in good shape now, there is concern it could quickly change.

"The pressure is certainly there that if we continue to get a bunch of activity, we could run short," Brooks said. "There is some availability. It just isn't the timely availability that we've had in the past."

"It makes it very hard for us retailers to be able to forecast and order things in terms of what we're going to get, because we don't know what we're going to get," Tennies said. "It makes things a little bit more stressful."

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