retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Wall Street Journal writes this morning that “consumers are starting to see higher prices for recreational vehicles, soda, beer and other goods that now cost more to make as a result of recent tariffs on metals and parts.

“When costs rise, manufacturers generally must chose whether to absorb bigger bills for aluminum, steel and imported components, or pass the increases along to customers. Many manufacturers in recent days, including Coca-Cola Co. and Polaris Industries Inc., have said they plan to raise prices.

“U.S. steel and aluminum prices are up 33% and 11%, respectively, since the start of the year, as producers and their customers begin to price in the tariffs that the Trump administration first applied on foreign-made metal in March. Tariffs on a host of additional imported products from China this month have added costs for companies that use those components to assemble their products in the U.S.”


• The Associated Press reports that Publix “has posted new signs at the store saying only service animals trained to aid those with disabilities are allowed in the store. No service animals are allowed to sit or ride in shopping carts.”

The move - which Publix says is just a clarification of an existing policy - comes because of customers who have been bringing their pets to the store, sticking them in their shopping cards and then claiming that they are service animals.

The AP story notes that “service animals have become a controversial issue as several states have tried to crack down on people potentially abusing federal disability laws … Growing complaints have also emerged as more people have tried to sneak pets onto airlines under the guise of service dogs.”


• The Los Angeles Times reports that Starbucks, “facing a rare sales decline in China, is betting a rapid rollout of delivery service will get the business back on track … Starbucks says deliveries will help it will fend off competitors that are already offering the service, coupled with deep discounts. The goal is for Starbucks to establish itself as a daily routine for customers in the world's second-largest economy.”
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