Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Product cost inflation is real, it’s very real

May 29, 2008

cashregister.jpgDuring Big Lots’ conference call, the closeout retailer was asked what it is seeing in┬áterms of product cost inflation, especially when it comes to merchandise that is sourced in Asia.

CEO Steve Fishman was unambiguous in his answer: “That’s real. That’s very real”

Fishman said factors like the devaluation of the dollar and rising salaries overseas are making sourcing products from Asia more expensive.

“There are absolute real cost pressures coming in from overseas,” he said.

And it is becoming impossible for retailers to swallow these increased costs.

“There is no such thing as absorbing those costs. And I don’t think there’s a retailer in the United States that’s absorbing those costs. You’re seeing real price increases for the first time in a long time on product,” he said.

That is certainly not great news for cash-strapped U.S. shoppers.

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