Price hikes are getting harder to ignore.
Inflation has risen 5 percent since last year, which is the fastest pace in nearly 13 years. This is affecting almost every item on the market, including clothing and furniture.
“T-shirts, for example, they’re raising up by $2, but that's $4 for the consumer,” said owner of Passport, Chris Limon.
Partner of Couch Potato, Lee Samways, added, “The combination of the raw materials and the shipping prices have gone up all over. So they’re actually charging us 12-15 percent more just to get the product delivered.”
Manufacturers across the country halted production due to the coronavirus. Now, local businesses are experiencing prices surging across a variety of sectors due to increased demand and shortages of labor and materials.
Limon says, coming out of the pandemic, customers are willing to pay more for clothes even though costs are rising.
"We’re making sure that we’re providing quality customer service, so we want to be able to back those prices,” said Limon.
Men’s clothing is up 3 percent, and shoes are up 8 percent.
Meantime, some big ticket items in high demand saw dramatic spikes. Furniture is up almost 9 percent.
At Couch Potato, owners say more people have moved to the Central Coast during the pandemic, which is driving up demand for furniture. But they’re trying to keep prices the same.
“We should actually change our price tags pretty much every other week. But we still have some of our same price tags from last year. So to support our local economy, we don’t say no to our customers,” said CEO of Couch Potato, Guntur Yilmaz.
Also affecting the increase in furniture prices are surcharges, which increased prices of imports.
“There is a great demand right now for a lot of overseas products because they’re always the most affordable. But those ones are the ones that are currently the hardest to get,” said Samways.
Despite this, local owners say they continue to feel supported by the community.
“Just when people found out we’re a small business, they wanted to support,” said Limon.
And economists say not to worry. They expect many of these eye-popping price hikes to be short lived as the economy adjusts and comparisons to a year ago get less dramatic.