Price to pay: Increase price for goods sets up challenges for Hawaii restaurants and retailers

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – Apparel, jewelry, home improvement items and more. Consumers can expect prices to continue to increase on these items.

“It’s across the board, whether it’s food items, cleaning products, clothing,” said Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii. “Everything has kind of gone up, and there’s a lot of reasons for it.”

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One of those reasons includes factories overseas and on the mainland shutting down for good. Retail Merchants of Hawaii also points out, shipping inter-island is up 50%.

“You’re going to see, you know, maybe things have gone up a couple of pennies here and there, up to a couple of dollars, up to tens of, you know, tens of dollars, you know, type of thing – it just all depends what you’re purchasing,” she said.

A trip to eateries may also mean a bigger bill.

“Some people are seeing 2% on food and 3% on goods,” said Sheryl Matsuoka, executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. “Goods could be like PPE, the cost of the rubber gloves, just sanitization and cleaning disinfectants. So we do see definitely a price increase.”

The HRA says a case of gloves used to cost $50, but that price has now tripled.

“If you’re a single mom and pop, sometimes you don’t have that buying power. You’ll see some updates to their menu where they’ve increased 50 cents or 75 cents, just so that they can try to keep their doors open,” said Matsuoka.

A big concern about ongoing price hikes is keeping local businesses open.

“It’s been a struggle, and so what happens is, without people shopping in our stores or buying from us, we can’t pay our lease rent. We have bills to pay, and lease rent is one of the largest monthly expenses anybody has,” said Yamaki.

HRA also says restaurants have seen an increase in prices for chicken and pork due to national processing plants closing down.

The ketchup shortage could also trickle down to Hawaii if it continues on the mainland.

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