WEB EXCLUSIVE: National headstone shortage leaves some families waiting 5-13 months

Business

A granite headstone (KODE/KSNF)

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Across the nation, many companies are enduring the results of the supply chain shortage that began at the beginning of the pandemic.

Now, headstone “monument” companies everywhere are experiencing a shortage, leaving some families confused as they wait multiple months before receiving one.

“It’s not easy. It’s absolutely not easy. They don’t understand. We generally get the push back, ‘why does COVID-19 effect you?’ and we have to go into the details and a lot of times they don’t want to hear that; but it’s the reality of the situation right now,”

Brent Sears, Sears Monument Company President

Sears says the turnaround time for Sears Monument Company used to be 4-7 weeks, but due to the shortage, it can now take 16 weeks or longer. He also says the longest one family has had to wait was around 13 months.

What’s the issue? Why is there a shortage?  

“COVID-19 has shut down different countries, for different lengths of time. Combine that with the shipping crisis of too many ships coming to the United States and can’t unload in order to get to us.”

In addition to this, he also says a contributor to the shortage is also a domestic situation as well. Sears says the “baby boomers” – the “largest single generation of people that have come through this country” are beginning to die and “it’s overloading [the] industry as a whole, because of the quantity of them.”

How long will it take you all to get back to your previous time frame?

“That’s going to depend on what happens in the world. That’s going to depend on the death quantity of the baby boomers, it’s going to depend on the fix of the ships getting to port, and it’s going to depend on when the country stops shutting down for COVID-19.”

Sears encourages families to be patient and says they’re working as quickly and efficiently as they can to get the items to each delivered.

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