Victoria businesses warn of supply challenges for barbeques, patio gear

Barbeques are pictured in Victoria's downtown Capital Iron location: (CTV News)

Victoria businesses are warning customers and altering their buying strategies on popular outdoor items – like barbeques and patio furniture – as another summer during a global pandemic approaches.

"I’ve been doing this for 30-plus years and this is the most challenging summer ever for this type of product," said Capital Iron owner Mike Black.

Travel restrictions last summer sent many shopping to spruce up their outdoor living spaces, among other home renovation projects. Today, business is still trying to catch up.

"I know manufacturers have been building (their summer products) all winter. They never stopped,” said Black.

He says shortages on parts, labour and international shipping delays are all contributing factors to the lack of supply.

"Not only is there a shortage of parts to make things, even things that are made in Canada, but there’s such a demand for the containers themselves," he said.

"We’ve had instances where containers have been taken off ships because somebody else paid more money to put theirs on."

A sales associate who orders stock for Wicker Land Patio in Victoria agrees that there have been challenges.

Trevor Mundy says one of the store’s top-selling barbeques is made by Traeger – and his team is trying to fill its warehouse with as many of them as it can.

But he says other brands like Ratana’s outdoor furniture isn’t as difficult to keep in stock.

"That’s a Vancouver-based company so we can see their stuff in a matter of days," he said.

Capital Iron is telling its customers: If you see a barbeque you like, buy it, unless you’re willing to wait a year or two.

The owner anticipates next summer will be a challenge too, maybe even 2023.