Reeder already expects his prices to rise 2 percent to 3 percent for the next academic year. But he's not passing all the costs along.
"We're taking some of a hit on the profit end of it," he says. He's hoping to get another 10 to 12 customers signed for the next year; the added sales volume would help his profits.
Clothing stores are also contending with higher prices — and consumers' tendency to be frugal when they're paying more for gas, food and other items. Jimmy Au's, a Beverly Hills, Calif., men's store, has paid on average 5 percent more for the clothes it stocked during the past year. Alan Au, the store's client relations manager, says prices for cotton, wool and silk have soared. Top-grade cotton has gone up as much as 10 percent over the past year.
Au says the store laid off a sales person as demand fell, and that allowed it to keep most of its prices unchanged. It has raised prices on some high-end suits and on jeans that sell for $200. But for the most part, the store is telling customers, "we'll bite the bullet for you because we appreciate your sticking with us."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.