Interesting Times

This past September I attended buying group meetings and the casual furniture show in Chicago. The topic that was repeatedly brought up in meetings and while visiting manufacturer’s showrooms was the tariffs that were implemented the past few months and more which are potentially on the way.And the discussions weren’t just in showrooms of suppliers that are importing products, it was also a point of discussion in the showrooms of manufacturers who produce here in the USA. The bottom line is that everyone agreed that no one really knows the full impact yet of these tariffs, but before long the average American is going to start feeling the results in their wallets.

I am not here to debate whether these tariffs are good or bad, as I have heard news stories where American companies are praising the tariffs and are adding jobs and I have seen news stories where American companies are feeling the pain of them. But I do know that they certainly made the buying for 2019 very interesting. Besides choosing frame colors, fabrics, and styles, added to the discussions are when the orders can ship, will the product have a tariff, are there alternative products available that won’t be impacted by a tariff. Never a dull moment, especially this year.

Will the tariffs stand? Will a new round be coming January 1st like some are predicting? Who knows. What I know is that one of the morning news shows had a story recently in which the reporter predicted price increases of around 23% on many selected consumer goods. Time will tell and I will leave the arguing of the merits of the tariffs to the politicians, but as a purchaser I can attest that these are interesting times!   

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