What In The World Is Going On?

Recently, I’ve been shopping on-line for CD and network players and it seems no matter where I look, almost everything is out of stock. Some items have an "expected by" date but many do not. What is going on? I’ve never seen a situation like this. I suppose the pandemic plays a role, but I think there must be more to it.  Onkyo and Pioneer seem to have practically disappeared from the market. I know there have been buy-out talk concerning Sound United, Pioneer and Onkyo, but I don’t know the current status. Anyone up on the situation?
I would think there must be more to it than that. Onkyo has essentially disappeared from the market and Pioneer isn’t too far ahead of them. Marantz, Denon and other brands seem to have little product availability. I would think Covid might affect supply and demand more or less equally, but what I see seems to be more of a supply issue. Most lower end hi-fi production is spread all over Asia: China, Japan, Viet Nam, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan...but the shortages seem to not be limited to specific countries of origin. Whatever the cause or causes, I hope it gets sorted out soon.

There’s this minor hiccup called
what is that??? i thought all the masks are for a special month long celebration of halloween this year ordered by our commander in chief... hail fearless orange leader!!!
We just moved into a new home and covid has disrupted the refrigerator, freezer, towel rack, trash can & recycling bin supply chains.  Up the street from our new home, the construction on a house has pretty much stopped, waiting for windows to arrive.
Don't worry.....

It's not an episode of the twilight zone. This is happening in certain markets. Try and buy a bicycle at a bike store. Likely, the store will have zero inventory, and the lead time can be up to 6 MONTHS!

Play used records. There's plenty of them. That's what I do. FABULOUS!

OK...maybe it is "just" the covid.  Awhile back there was some news about Sound United, Onkyo and maybe Pioneer.  Maybe other companies involved, too.  That, coupled with the apparent complete disappearance of Onkyo from the market made me think that perhaps something foul was afoot.  Like, Onkyo and perhaps Denon folding their tents.  Not much would surprise me this year!
Heard or read a rumor that a sell off began pre-covid for improved book-keeping making the situation worse.
Believe it or not disc players in general were not selling well and many have left the market. Long before COVID hit.
From Wikipedia:

In March 2015, Onkyo purchased Pioneer Corporation's Home Electronics Corporation, which produces home cinema amplifiers, Blu-ray players and other AV products. In return, Pioneer took a 14.95% stake in Onkyo. The Ohtsuki family remained the largest shareholders of the company with an approximately 26% stake,[1] just above Gibson Brands, with a 16.5% stake.[3]

With the bankruptcy of Gibson in 2018, Onkyo's shares held by Gibson were sold, as the company itself reported.[4]

In the summer of 2020, major US retailers Amazon and Best Buy discontinued sales of Onkyo products. A call to Onkyo USA's customer service line indicated the number is no longer in service. Distribution of Onkyo, Pioneer, Integra and Elite products has changed hands from Onkyo USA to 11 Trading Company.

There's always plenty of backstory to these situations.

Technics turntables are selling like hotcakes yet some models are backlogged by months.  I wonder why...
The last thing any retailer wants is to head into a recession (depression?) with a warehouse full of merchandise. So the whole supply chain begins to shut down. The major hi-end retailer in my town has a nice online catalogue that shows almost nothing in stock. As an experienced audiophile retailer, I recommend everyone adjust in their own way to the new way of doing business. Direct to the end user makes a lot of sense when the "looking" can be done most effectively online. Let UPS do the walking.