After polling more than 200 independent home improvement retailers operating in the U.S., the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) finds the impact from tariffs continues to represent great uncertainty for business operators.
Notably, 67 percent of surveyed retailers believe tariffs on foreign products entering the U.S. will have a negative effect on their small businesses.
The data indicates that 91.3 percent of home improvement retailers have seen product prices rise as a result of tariffs.
NRHA finds that retailers are planning to adjust in a variety of ways to cost increases on goods entering the U.S. Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents plan to raise prices on their inventory to accommodate tariff hikes.
More than 30 percent anticipate losing margin on many products, while 16 percent are investigating new inventory sources to avoid recently imposed tariffs. More than 12 percent of respondents plan to cut costs elsewhere in their businesses to compensate for trade duties.
Retailers are also taking different approaches to how they’re communicating price increases to customers. Most retailers expect to explain the cause of increased prices to customers verbally if asked about them. Some retailers plan on posting signage in their stores to explain the higher costs.
Independent retailers also express concern regarding the long-term effects of tariffs. Many retailers who participated in NRHA’s survey worry customers will find their prices too high and shop at big-box competitors instead.
Other retailers indicate that ambiguity about time frames for implementing or eliminating tariffs are worrisome to them because they do not know if price increases on imported products are temporary or a new standard for their operations.