(KPIX 5) — A second wave of tariffs against Chinese imports scheduled to take effect in less than a week could have a significant impact on the toy business as the holiday shopping season goes into full swing.
Marissa Louie, CEO of Animoodles, a Bay Area-based small business, said her company is doing well. The detachable magnetic dolls Animoodles sells have made Amazon’s Holiday Toy List and will soon star in a new animated show on an undisclosed streaming channel.
Still, a 15% tariff that is scheduled to go into effect on Sunday was not exactly part of this year’s budget.
“To have literally 15% less means that we have to cut back on some expenses,” Louie said. “And we have to shift our business model into something different.”
Animoodles are manufactured in China and Louie said it would be too complicated to move the factories to other countries.
“We have a very specialized set of factories in China that produce really well-crafted, high quality stuffed animals,” Louie said. “These are difficult to make, more than twice as complex as a regular stuffed animal. To overnight be able to move to another country would be very difficult.”
President Trump said earlier this year there would be two phases of tariffs, the second of which includes toys, and would go into effect on Dec. 15 if no deal is reached with China. It’s not clear whether a deal is any closer.
The tariff is hitting toy stores especially hard right now, just before their busiest season. One toy maker described it to the Guardian newspaper as the “nightmare before Christmas.”
Some companies are having to lay off employees.
“Also, there’s the retail shakeup of Toys R Us and Shopco and Sears going bankrupt all at the same time,” Louie said. “You know, I would like to see a credit for toy companies. Instead of a tariff.”
The Toy Association now has a campaign directed at the president called “Don’t Tax Our Toys.”
Will it work? We may learn within the week.
Despite the uncertainty of potential tariffs, Louie says she has no intention of raising the price of Animoodles any time soon.