It’s not just your grocery bill.
Inflation, labor shortages and global supply-chain issues have caused empty supermarket shelves, driven up prices of necessities and led to hoarding of food and household products. But New Yorkers will see a bigger dent in their wallet when it comes to creature comforts like blowouts, dry cleaning, bagels and booze.
“As if conducting business wasn’t tough enough,” said Richard Aviles, owner of Kingbridge cleaners and tailors, a high-end dry cleaner in Soho. “During the pandemic, many of our manufacturing facilities that provided our industry with supplies just kind of closed down or suspended production. Now that is coupled with the global supply-chain shortage and this logistical mess,” said Aviles, adding that the price of a container carrying supplies from overseas is “sky high.”
Chief among his issues: “There’s a global hanger shortage. We are scrambling to find hangers at a time when they’ve gone up 40 percent in price.”
In late September, cult fitness spot Soul Cycle informed clients via email that its classes would increase from $36 to $38. And blowout bar DryBar, which touts it $45 blowouts on its website, recently charged $55 for the service (neither company returned a call for comment).
It’s just another setback for businesses and consumers already reeling from the pandemic.
“When they first mentioned the vaccine, it seemed like it was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Joe Musso, the general manager at Village Square Pizza. “Now the next wave of issues are coming barreling down and the price of everything is going up.”
Previous price: $3 for a regular slice, $4.50 for a square
Now: Price increase will come within the month.
Village Square Pizza, which has two locations in downtown Manhattan, is currently mulling over what to tack onto the price tag of a slice.
“We are going to have to raise prices with the price of meat and cheese going up and the shortage in employees,” Musso told The Post. “We’re discussing the increase now. It all trickles down to the little guy.”
Bagels and lox
Previous price: $13.75
An Ess-a-Bagel employee told The Post that they upped the price of bagels at the start of October due to rising food costs. They’re also unable to get their hands on specialty drinks and juices from distributors that were always regularly replenished.
Previous price: $40 for a standard suit
Aviles’ business is down by 22 percent (at the height of the pandemic, it had plummeted 93 percent) because many New Yorkers are still working from home in sweatpants. But the hit to his profit is compounded by the global hanger shortage and other supplies his business sources from overseas.
“There’s a domestic company that is now manufacturing hangers on par with the foreign ones but we can’t get them. They are trying to ramp up production but they don’t have the employees to meet the industry’s needs. If there are no hangers, how do you return clothes?”
The business is absorbing much of the financial blow and trying to minimize increases, which has so far kept to $1 an order. “Our hanger prices have gone up 40 percent. If I raised my prices in line with that, my customers would disappear.”
Imported inexpensive wine
Previous price: $9.99
That cheap buzz is harder to come by in the last few months.
“The cheaper the wine, the bigger the increase feels,” said Vinnie Aboin, the manager at Urban Wines & Spirits in the East Village, noting “distribution issues.”
“Transportation and container costs have gone up considerably,” driving up the cost to import wine in bulk — and the increase of a dollar or two is more noticeable in bottles at lower price points.
“In New York, we drink a lot of imported wine. All the distributors said, ‘Get ready, it’s going to keep going up,” said Aboin.
Previous price: $25 for popular plants such as Pilea and Lyrata
Your flowers and plants might add some green to your place, but Estela Johannesen, owner of James Weir Floral company in Brooklyn Heights, said they’ll take more green out of your pocket.
“We’ve had shortages in soil, insecticides, pots and pottery as well as wrapping materials and vases,” Johannesen said.
Previous price: $35
Getting your finger and toes buffed at Nail on 5th in Gowanus is pricier than ever. They had to raise the tab on the service because of numerous issues including the rising cost of nail polish and gloves, which have gone from $4.50 a box to $11.
“That $5 difference has kept customers home. It’s very frustrating,” said manager Jun Lee.
Previous price: $11 for an arugula salad; $14 for 8 pieces of chicken wings
Now: $12 for a salad; $13 for 6 pieces
At South Village Hospitality Group, which includes Ainslie, Follia, Carroll Place and Osteria Cotta, co-owner Sergio Riva is trying to keep diners’ tabs reasonable among rising food costs and a shortage of staffers.
“Protein normally goes down in price every winter,” said Riva. No longer: Hanger steak has gone from $5 to $9 a pound, while the bill for chicken wings has doubled. A case of arugula — $11 for years — is now $18. As a result, salad prices at Ainslie in Williamsburg are up. While wings are cheaper — the portion has shrunk.
“We’re not making the same percentages [of profit] but we’re trying to ease the blow so we’re not hemorrhaging money or customers. We’re absorbing it majorly at this point and trying to ride it out. In two or three months, we might have to raise the prices again,” said Riva.
Previous price: $12 to $16
“We’re at our highest beverage cost in eight years,” Evan Puchalsky, vice president of operations at Clinton Hall and Slate, told The Post. “There is no indication it will slow down.”
During the pandemic, booze companies manufactured larger bottles for at-home consumption and now due to a shortage of glass bottles, they haven’t had the supply to revert to the 1 liter bottles used by bars. Pulchalsky is still waiting on a tequila order from August and raised the price of cocktails in September.
Published on: Article source