REGINA -- The pandemic – and associated health orders – have had an interesting impact on consumer buying habits. Last year, people stockpiled toilet paper, yeast and flour. Now, it seems kitchen appliances are the hot new thing, with manufacturers struggling to keep up with demand.

“People didn’t spend that vacation dollar this year so instead decided to upgrade their homes,” said Lindsay Ritchie, assistant manager at Coast Appliances in Regina. 

Steve Webb recently refurbished his kitchen. Now, he’s shopping for new appliances. 

“We got the space already so we just want to see what size we need to put into the opening we have,” said Webb.

Webb may not get his appliance of choice straight away – there’s been a run on appliances, with long waits for some models. 

“The biggest challenge is the manufacturers shut down last year and when they went back to work, they went back at about 30 per cent capacity,” said Ritchie. 

Some models can take months to arrive from the factory, so customers in a hurry may have to choose from available stock. 

“Samsung fridges are probably one of the best options right now. It’s one of the fridges that we’ve had purchase orders in for the longest and we’re starting to get this year’s supply of them,” said Ritchie.

Even with challenges faced by appliance manufacturers, Ritchie said customers should be able to find something they like in stock, provided they’re flexible about some of the features or brand.