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Consumer Confidential: Supply-chain surcharge? Sherwin-Williams is latest company to add a sneaky fee

David Lazarus, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

Hugo Granadino recently stopped by the Sherwin-Williams paint store in Inglewood to pick up some rollers and brushes. He’s repainting the den of his South Los Angeles home.

After the purchase, Granadino, 40, took a look at his receipt and was surprised to see a 4% “supply chain charge.”

There’d been no advance warning that a surcharge was being imposed — it was just quietly tacked on at the checkout counter.

Granadino called the store to ask what’s up with that.

"The guy said that because there's a shortage of their raw materials, they have to charge more," Granadino told me.

Some context: Practically everything has gotten more expensive in recent months because of pandemic-related shortages and supply-chain issues.

 

Consumer prices rose by a larger-than-expected 5.4% last month from a year ago, according to the Labor Department. That's the sharpest increase in 13 years.

The Inland Empire posted the nation's highest inflation rate in September, quadrupling to 6.7%.

Food, energy, housing — all more expensive. This puts a financial squeeze on many households as the economy gradually recovers from the worst conditions since the Great Depression.

Although chronic shortages of microchips and medical supplies have received the most attention, many components and raw ingredients used in a wide variety of products also have been harder to find, pushing consumer prices higher.

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