Spiking shipping container costs raising prices for Abilene stores

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – For some, Christmas shopping begins this time of year.

Before the first leaf has turned red, some are out scrambling to find the perfect gift to wrap and give to their loved ones.

However, with a recent rise in shipping container costs and a shortage of workers, those gift orders are being delayed to local stores.

Casa Authentique is one being effected by the increased prices of the shipping containers.

Owner Yanell Rieder said that she received an email from one vendor saying the cost of one crate increased five times what it was worth last year.

The vendor cannot cover the entirety of that cost, so the ripple effect begins.

While Rieder said she would try and absorb some of that cost, she may not be able to, leading to price increases throughout her store.

“We’re having to adjust our prices,” Rieder said. “We’re trying to absorb as much as we can, just like our vendors are.”

Another Abilene boutique, Bucketheads, has seen the same pressures, but owner Nancy Nicholson said they tried staying ahead of the increased container prices.

Nicholson said she heard rumors of the increases beginning in January and quickly placed an order for all four of her stores.

“They were telling us the cost of the containers doubled,” Nicholson said. “Then the next time we were at market, it was at one and half times. I mean, it just continued to go up.”

Nicholson said she has full shelves for the holiday season, but the increasing container prices aren’t their only issue.

Online shopping has put a dent in revenue for many local businesses, and Rieder said it’s a matter of time before many small retailers have to close their doors for good.

“I don’t know how to fight it,” Rieder said.

Both Rieder and Nicholson said they will continue to keep their prices as low as possible, while still trying to draw customers into the store for the experience and their ‘family-like’ customer service.

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