ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, fla. - The essentials that stores just can’t keep on the shelves: Toilet paper, hand sanitizer… and freezers?
Appliance stores locally in Central Florida and across the nation are reporting a shortage on stand-alone freezers that some say seems to have started with the rest of the COVID-19 panic-buying.
"Can't get our hands on any. We're getting 30-40 calls a day,” said Andrew Fazzolare, Manager at Sonny's Discount Appliances in Altamonte Springs.
On Monday, Fazzolare was lucky enough to start the week with two freezers in stock, but didn’t expect those to last long.
He said some shoppers have even gone to great lengths to visit the small, family-owned store in order to grab an elusive freezer.
"They're very hard to come by. We had somebody come from Tallahassee last week to get a freezer, so it was about a six-to-seven-hour drive for them to come to get one,” Fazzolare said.
Consumer Reports says most major retailers are showing "out of stock" on their freezers both in-store and online.
The agency says that may be the case until the summer when new models start to come out.
Fazzolare, and other experts, theorize the shortage may be people attempting to stockpile and deep-freeze food amid the worldwide uncertainty.
Consumer Reports recommends those in the market for a freezer try a second refrigerator-freezer combo instead – some of which they say have as much capacity as stand-alone ones.
Sonny’s had plenty of the combo units on display as of Monday.