Sunday, May 26, 2024
26 C
Brunei Town

Air conditioners in short supply as lockdown ripple spreads

THE JAPAN NEWS/ANN – Concerns are growing that supply cannot keep up with demand for home appliances such as air conditioners and washing machines, due to the global shortage of semiconductors and Shanghai’s COVID-19 lockdowns, which have hampered manufacturers’ production.

Since mass electronics retailers have already begun running out of stock, some appliance models may become unavailable, limiting consumers’ choices just as the sales competition for summer items gets into full swing.

On the air conditioner sales floor of Joshin’s Oji electronics store in Kita Ward, Tokyo, ‘sold-out’ signs are appearing on models sold from last fiscal year.

“Although many products are still in stock, we don’t know when some air conditioner models will become available.

“We recommend that customers buy their air conditioners as soon as possible if they want to have new ones, because supply and demand could become tight when heatwaves come,” a Joshin official said.

According to sources close to the industry, major disruptions have not occurred yet at large electronics and appliance stores handling many leading manufacturers’ products, as shortages are limited to some items.

‘Sold out’ signs in the air conditioner section of a Joshin’s Oji electronics retail store in Tokyo. PHOTO: THE JAPAN NEWS/ANN

The wide availability of air conditioners has become increasingly important for preventing heat stroke in the summer months.

Some manufacturers have already begun issuing warnings in anticipation of shortages.

Sharp Corporation has been urging consumers on its official Twitter account since late April to test run their air conditioners early to ensure there are no problems later.

The major electronics maker said air conditioners and washing machines are in short supply because its factory in Shanghai that manufactures them for the Japanese market stopped operations in April and May.

Containers full of products also remained unloaded at ports.

Many air conditioner makers produce their products domestically, but need to import some parts from China.

Shanghai’s COVID-19 lockdown was lifted on June 1, but it is expected to take some time for the supply and transportation chain to get back to normal.