“I mean, to be honest, it’s not really cheaper,” said one shopper in Iroha International. “But here, I think it’s the appeal of the quality. I think you still get things that are really authentic.”
Another shopper told CNA that products are sometimes cheaper, especially for special products that the store imports directly from Japan, as opposed to another supermarket which gets them from a distributor.
COST PRESSURES REMAIN
The savings are not trickling down to customers, as cost pressures are still a challenge for businesses.
The Meat Club is an online butcher that imports produce from countries such as Australia and New Zealand, and sends the orders directly to their customers.
Even without paying for a middleman or warehousing, it still has not translated into cheaper prices.
Its CEO Brad Ross told CNA: “Labour costs are going up, operating costs are going up, freight costs are going up.”