ASK THE EXPERT: HOW CAN I DEAL WITH RISING PRICES AS I HEAD BACK TO MARKET?
Q: I’m going to market again soon and from what I’m reading it sounds like prices will be up over last year. Other than a dip in April, my sales have been pretty good. How much more should I be willing to pay and are there other options for some of the European vendors whose prices have gone through the roof?
A: It’s true that prices have gone up, and they are likely to go up even further this year. Expect to pay around 10% to 15% more, which means that you will probably have a tighter assortment if you stay within your budget. (Which you should absolutely do!) You know what else this means — with a smaller assortment, your edit must be even better.
The one thing I would caution you on is buying into new price lines. Changing price points is one thing, changing price lines is another challenge altogether. It could be hard to justify these prices to your customers unless you know clients who are willing to buy no matter what the cost. For some retailers, this may be the case.
European, and particularly Italian goods, have gone up the most. Right now, we are seeing a couple of vendors trying to fill the lower price points, but there are not a lot of options out there yet.
The good news is that our early numbers for May are strong so far. With resilient demand, higher prices are less of a concern.
Photo, top, by Bruce Mars.