MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — Retro-Taku Videogames’ phone often pops up with similar issues.
“Retro-Taku Videogames, how can I help you?” General Manager John Bennett said as he answered the phone.
At the other end of the dial are customers looking for specific games and accessories at the Madison Heights video game store on West 11 Mile Road.
“We haven’t been able to get PlayStation 4 controllers for about six months or more. That’s probably the hardest thing to get,” Bennett said.
The worldwide shortage of microchips is the cause.
“There are a lot of people saying, ‘It’s the same excuse as a year ago.’ Yes, it’s the same problem as a year ago,” he said.
Bennett isn’t alone in having to explain the persistent problem to his customers; the chip shortage supports orders at the Specialties Showroom in Berkley.
“No one anticipated right away, even in our industry, that this was going to be two years and more,” said Ken Goss, president of the kitchen and bath appliance store.
Many newer models of home appliances require a computer chip.
“There are electronics in refrigerators, things are Wi-Fi enabled like ovens and stoves, washers and dryers,” Goss said.
People have been waiting for washers, dryers and refrigerators for about a year.
“If we order refrigerators now, they won’t be here until December,” he said.
Kevin Ketels, professor of global supply chain management at Wayne State University School of Business, says the timing looks right.
“To be honest, we think over the next year it should start to stabilize and we can catch up with demand, but it’s hard to say,” Ketels said.
At present, he said, several measures are being taken to combat the shortage. President Joe Biden’s administration is trying to convince Congress to approve a bill.
“That would help incentivize companies to invest in chip building in the United States, but that won’t happen for a few years if the bill passes,” Ketels said.
He says tech companies are also doing their part.
“The other news is that Intel has invested about $20 billion in building a new chip factory in Ohio, but that won’t come for a few years either,” he said. declared.
There are some things consumers can do now to avoid a potential wait on a new fridge or stove.
“Just do things through maintenance that will help extend the life of your appliances,” Goss said.
He says simple things like regular cleaning, including the refrigerator filter and compressor, can help maintain your current appliances.