Cellphone, computer stores staying busy during pandemic, despite shortages

Since that early lockdown in 2020, stores like Pavlovic’s have had a steady dose of customers looking to enhance or maintain their level of home entertainment and access with electronic devices.

“Most people bring in PlayStations and iPhones for repairs,” he said.

Darryl Arnold, owner of Kelly Computers Works, had a similar take on the past year. While he said he hasn’t ran the numbers yet, Arnold believes the store is close to the same volume as last year.

“Covid has affected some parts of our business negatively and others parts have seen a bit of an upswing, but overall we’re on par for a similar year as last year,” he said.

Justin Vany, who works in sales at Sound City AVU, said the type of services they provide are universal enough that even a pandemic hasn’t affected them as much.

“Cellphones and mobile services are one of those things that you pretty much can’t get by without,” he said. “As a whole, things are good and have stayed busy.”

“There hasn’t been a change or shift, not much in terms of what we do.”

Where there has been a change on sales for some stores, is in products like Televisions, particularly when there were more restrictions. Vany noted that with less travel occurring, some people are choosing to spend their money elsewhere.

“When we have a lot more time, things like a new TV monitor or upgrading the surround system does occur sooner than it normally would,” he said. “There’s definitely people who made some decisions based on having a bit more cash flow for such purchases I would say,”

The next few weeks are a particularly busy period, with residents buying presents ahead of Christmas. Having stock has now become the biggest issue facing retailers.

Vany acknowledged Sound City has had some difficulty in getting microchips and other items in as supply chain delays have rocked the United States and the rest of the continent.

“It’s looking like we’re going to be getting the stock we need, but that’s definitely been an issue to this point,” he said. “Not being able to order the phones, but getting them to the store.”

In trying to mitigate potential problems, it’s forced them to become more in touch with their customers.

Maybe we don’t have something and then we let them know right away, then when we do get product, they can pick it up quickly,” Vany said.

Despite the current state of supply chains, Vany said they’re quite hopeful about how the holiday season will go, beginning with Black Friday sales.

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Cellphone, computer stores staying busy during pandemic, despite shortages