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The price before Christmas: Costs of holiday decorations head north

Christian Martinez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

LOS ANGELES — It was late Thursday morning and Aldik Home was bustling with dozens of shoppers perusing the showroom decked out with thousands of Christmas lights and dozens of trees hung with all manner of ornaments and ribbons.

The 6-decade-old Van Nuys retailer’s Christmas displays have gained some notoriety in the past, with the Kardashian family filming a holiday episode of its reality TV show inside. (In a tense exchange at the store, Kim accused Kris of attempting to copy her Christmas decorations purchased at Aldik.)

But this year, Aldik customers will have to open their wallets wider to purchase a 7.5-foot-tall Deluxe Flocked Arctic tree or a 32-foot strand of Cool White LED lights.

Prices for some items have increased by as much as 25%, as the retailer has run into a mix of supply chain issues, said store owner Larry Gold. The store has faced increased shipping and import costs, with rates jumping as high as 600% and monthslong delays stemming from ongoing issues at the Port of Los Angeles.

Prices at Aldik are 10% higher on average over last year’s, Gold said.

The issues have rocked nearly every industry in the country, with price increases and delays on everything from toys and video game consoles to clothing and extension cords.

 

And the price increases are not just hitting decorations and artificial trees: A variety of factors including fires and extreme heat have upped the prices on domestically produced natural trees as well.

Gold’s customers, however, don’t seem to mind, at least not yet, with the parking lot full and Gold expecting a busy first weekend of December.

Dressed in a button-down shirt and a mask, Gold oversaw his sales floor Thursday morning. As busy as it seemed Thursday, the weekend could bring lines out the door, he said.

But as good as business was, managing the supply chain issues has become the nightmare before Christmas.

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