By Paige Houpt
Mason Times staff writer
Some Mason business owners said Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed reform on the controversial item pricing law eliminates jobs and is bad for small businesses.
“In today’s world of scanners, bar codes and automated inventory systems, we are simply adding an undue burden on retailers and consumers,” Snyder said. “It’s bad for business, and it’s bad for consumers.”
The newly elected governor said in his state of the state speech on Jan 19 that the state’s item pricing law costs retailers more than $2 billion a year.
“ I think it’s a waste of money to even go through the process of a repeal when we consider we are so short of money at this time in our state,” said Kathi Swan, a vendor at the Mason Antique Market.
Swan and her husband, Dennis, have been antique vendors for three years at the Mason Antique Market. They said some consumers aren’t up to date with the latest technology and fear their customers would become
frustrated without the price stickers.
“It would eliminate entry-level jobs that give high school students some experience in the working field.” she said.
Michigan is one of two states in the country that requires retailers to place price tags visible to customers on items.
“I think for small businesses it would affect customers because people always want to look at price tags,” Keans Store associate Erica Leyko said.
“We still ring up items manually,” said Leyko. “ It would be a huge process just for our store to get a bar code system.”
Keans Store Company is located on Jefferson Street right across the street from Mason’s City Hall. The store sells a variety of gift items. Shoppers can find everything from greeting cards to homemade soaps.
Other merchants said in communities like Mason, taking away price stickers would change the way consumers shop and it could frustrate to older shoppers who don’t use technology frequently.
“They would need some type of bar code scanning system near the item so shoppers could scan items easily,” said Kathy Fuh, antique vendor at The Loft Antiques in the Mason Antique District.
Final details on Snyder’s item pricing plan have not been released to the public.