By Corey Gilbert
Yeah, what about them?
In case you missed it, the President has been implementing tariffs on imported goods such as steel, aluminum, apparel and even washing machines beginning around Jan. 2018. Since then it’s been like a can of Pringles and he hasn’t stopped, leading to concerns over an imminent trade war.
So what does this mean?
For consumers it would mean price jumps in apparel imports and some big-ticket items (like cars). If you have a business that relies on imports, you could see some new purchasing strategies coming your way. Many wholesalers have been stockpiling inventory to keep your prices low, but as they run out of that inventory prices are set to jump. That bubble tea that you love so much, where do you think those boba and tea leaves come from? HINT: it’s not the US!
What Do I Do Now?
For now, we wait, but it won’t be long until 2020 knocks on the door. The effects from the tariffs won’t be seen until next year because most companies have already purchased their inventory for the 2019 season. As time goes on retailers will try to absorb as much of the tariffs as they can and then eventually adjust their pricing to the consumers as they see fit.
How Can RCS Help?
Contact your account rep to learn about features that can help save money in these tumultuous times. Make sure that you use the automated pricing features inside of your POS to change large swaths of inventory pricing quickly. You’ll want to stay on top of things as your suppliers pricing changes. You can also switch your pricing model to be margin based, allowing you to make a predefined margin as your cost fluctuates.
Some retailers are also showing tariffs on signage or a receipt so that consumers understand why they are seeing price increases. Whatever you do, rest assured that pricing will be volatile over the coming months, and you should have the systems in place to quickly and easily change your pricing accordingly.