Toys will be 10% more expensive next year thanks the toy industry’s latest attempts to protect American children from defective merchandise. Toy makers will use the hike to offset the cost of retaining independent labs to both test for defective and dangerous toys, and provide a measure of PR security.
Consumers could also see higher prices on other Chinese imports such as fish and children’s apparel, but the big price gains in toys could be more jolting.
Shoppers have become accustomed to cheap playthings from China because Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other discounters have waged cost-cutting campaigns. Critics say real safeguards were sacrificed to keep prices low, however.
Prices won’t rise until next year because most of the toys destined for this year’s holiday season have already been manufactured and shipped.
Higher prices are always undesirable, but this hike reflects a renewed awareness of the dangers that come with relying on uncertain foreign supply chains; hopefully it will give toy makers needed breathing room to make our products safer in the long run.
Safer toys won’t be cheap [Chicago Tribune]
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