China trade war puts Christmas on the minds of Bay Area retailers

Tis the season for tariffs but a potential trade war with China does not make Bay Area retailers, like Robert's Christmas Wonderland in Clearwater, all the merrier.

Josh Frank says for the first time in 25 years, customers will be paying more for their individual Christmas light bulbs.

"Christmas lights have been one of the things affected by the tariff," Frank said. "They used to be four for $1, now they'll be three for $1. That's probably one of the first things that's been affected."

Frank says about 90% of his inventory is imported from China. So did what he could to get ahead of the impending increase.

"What we did to make sure we didn’t get the higher pricing was: We went ahead and ordered early," he said. "But now that it actually has come, there are some companies that raised their prices."

Allison Foley of Tampa boutique Hazel and Dot did the same thing.

"Our shopping bags are all from China, so to get ahead of the tariff, we ordered a larger supply than we normally would have of our shopping bags in December, so we could get ahead of the game," he said.

Though most of their items are made in the USA, much of the holiday items are from China.

"Even in ordering those, which we've done, we've noticed the cost has gone up," he said.

Both businesses are trying their best to keep prices low for customers.