14 Mar 2013

Importers warned price gouging won't work

7:30 am on 14 March 2013

Importers are being told they are dreaming if they think they can get away with price gouging, despite the high dollar making it cheaper to import goods.

An ASB survey of 370 businesses has found 59.1% of importers plan to put up prices, and 15%plan to drop them.

The Importers Institute says some businesses may be trying to recoup the losses they incurred during the financial crisis, but it is unlikely they will get away with it.

Its spokesperson Daniel Silva says the market is intensely competitive and consumers will vote with their feet.

The Retailers Association says importers probably won't follow through with price hikes.

The survey also found that 62.2% of importers plan to increase investment, while 29.9% plan to hire more staff.

ASB says while the findings of its survey are curious, they are in line with a similar survey in Australia.

It says it may be that the importers surveyed have dominance in their markets and are therefore able to nudge up prices.