NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) † Prepare to burn a few more bucks for backyard fireworks this season.
Inflation has hit the holiday tradition, pushing prices up 25% or more on everything from fireworks to fountains. Retailers said they are trying to keep prices low and sell some items below cost to keep customers coming, but have more than doubled their own costs in some cases.
The American Pyrotechnics Association warned in April that increases in shipping, insurance, fuel and labor could push operating costs more than 35%. Shipping alone has tripled or quadrupled since last year.
“Two years ago it ran to about $12,000 per container,” said Shan English of the cost of having the product shipped from China to his Brazos Fireworks company. “And this year we paid $36,000 a container to get that stuff here.”
English still expected customers to splurge for the fourth, but probably cut back on high ticket items because of the prices.
He was happy to be open as usual this year as concerns about the drought in the region increased. He postponed opening some booths until Friday and took some rockets off the shelf to ease concerns about fires.
Engels, a former fire chief, said buyers tend to be self-regulated with their holiday displays.
“None of them want to make a fire. They care,’ he said. “And that’s why we don’t have that many fires that start with fireworks.