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Netherlands: Action expects price increases throughout the industry

Discount Variety Retail Chain Action (owned by 3i Group) expects the higher prices of container shipping and raw materials to lead to price increases across the retail industry. The budget chain itself may also not be able to avoid increasing the prices of a number of items. Other stores recognize the problems. Garden centers think, for example, that the prices of garden furniture will rise next year. Due to the nuisance of corona measures in Chinese ports such as Ningbo and Yantian and container shortages in some parts of the world, international shipping has been struggling with problems for some time. This leads to supply problems for many companies worldwide. The Dutch retail sector is also experiencing the impact.

"In the long run, this situation can also lead to changing prices for a number of Action products", Action indicates. But the discounter does, in its own words, strive to always offer the lowest prices in the market. For the time being, Action is trying to resolve the situation as best as possible with its suppliers. "Our large stocks help with that."

HEMA is currently also deploying its own network to prevent empty shelves or items becoming more expensive, for example. That has been successful so far, emphasizes a spokesperson. According to her, the problems have not yet had any consequences for customers. "But that's no guarantee for the future," she admits. It mainly depends on how long the situation continues.

Many garden centers saw last year that it could be difficult to purchase products such as garden furniture in China this year. That is why extra stocks have been built up, so that prices for consumers will not have to go up extra this year, says deputy director Brenda Horstra of Tuinbranche Nederland.

She also does not foresee any problems for the new Christmas collection. But next year prices will probably go up. In the garden sector, the price of wood has also risen sharply. According to Horstra, consumers will notice that. Garden wood is already a lot more expensive than before.

Retailers' organization INretail says that home furnishings stores sometimes cannot avoid passing on the higher transport prices to the consumer. The delivery times of certain items could also sometimes increase. But the organization emphasizes that stores and suppliers are trying to minimize the impact.

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