Consumers Should Expect Higher Prices This Holiday
August 31, 2011
A new survey of consumer goods manufacturers and importers shows that the dual trends of weak inventory sales and rising prices paint a dark picture for the upcoming holiday season. As of July 31, 2011, during which time most holiday orders are placed:
“Inflation is coming and the era when retailers and manufacturers absorb price increases to protect consumers is over. Our manufacturing clients are telling us that prices for clothing, bedding and other soft goods will rise this holiday season. However, all hope is not lost, as one-third of those surveyed believe that despite current market challenges, retailers will increase inventories this holiday season,” said Andrew Tananbaum, executive chairman of Capital Business Credit.
Additional findings of note:
These changes will affect margins across the board, as an overwhelming 95 percent of respondents indicated that their margins would be affected in some way.
The Global Retail Manufacturers and Importers Survey, conducted by Capital Business Credit LLC (CBC) (www.capitalbusinesscredit.com), a global integrated financial products and services company that serves the retail sector, surveyed 80 manufacturers and importers in the apparel, housewares, home furnishings, fashion accessories and furniture industries, who manufacture some, if not all, of their products in China, India, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The survey was conducted the week of Aug. 1, 2011.
CottonAlmost all (95 percent) of respondents saw an increase in the cost of raw materials over the last 12 months. To combat the increased cost of raw materials, 33 percent will be replacing some of the cotton content in their products with rayon (60 percent) or Lycra (40 percent). More than a quarter (26.7 percent) of those who have high-cotton content products will vary the cut or design of their products to use fewer raw materials. Respondents also noted that cotton prices will directly affect consumer prices this holiday season.
Approximately 44 percent of survey respondents plan to move some or all of their manufacturing out of China due to the increased cost of labor. Almost three-fourths (71.4 percent) of those respondents are considering relocating some of their production to Vietnam.
The CBC survey also identified that the increased cost of logistics – due in large part to the rising cost of oil – is a major cost concern (92.2 percent) for importers and manufacturers. Almost two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said that logistics costs have increased by more than five percent in the last 12 months with nearly 58.3 percent of respondents citing an increase of five percent or more due to the current cost of oil.
“The rising costs of raw materials, labor and logistics only magnifies the existing problems facing manufacturers, importers and retailers. On a bright note, looking forward to the Spring season, we anticipate prices to decrease at retail, due to forward looking data on the decline in cotton prices,” said Tananbaum.