UK shoppers face spring price rises of clothing following an unprecedented hike in freight rates from China. An estimated 80 per cent of all the clothing and homewares sold on the UK’s high streets is imported from the Far East. However, the cost of shipping goods from Asia has increased sixfold since last February, causing industry insiders to predict that retailers will have to increase prices to recoup some of the costs. Any price rises could derail the fragile recovery in the consumer economy.
One retail industry executive was quoted in the Sunday Telegraph: “Come April, prices will have to go up. This kind of cost increase is a normal cycle in the shipping industry but it is usually a five-year cycle, not a six-month one.”
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