Retailers have 11 days to sell any cribs that don’t meet the government’s new safety standard. Anything that’s left in stores on June 28 must be trashed.
At least 100,000 cribs — a figure significantly larger than first anticipated — could be destined for the garbage dump, according to new estimates released yesterday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Despite the large inventory, the Democrat-controlled CPSC voted 3-to-2 against extending the June 28 deadline.
Previous figures, reported yesterday on The Foundry, put the number at 20,000 affected cribs. But due to the slow economy, stores have been unable to move the merchandise in the six-month window provided by the government. Without a last-minute intervention, that means the unused cribs will likely face steep markdowns over the next 11 days. Anything left after June 28 cannot be sold to consumers.
Business have no choice in the matter. Congress mandated the new safety standard even though the cribs in stores were not deemed unsafe or a hazard to children. They haven’t been subject to a recall. They simply don’t meet the latest safety standard set by the government.
The CSPC was tasked with carrying out the regulation. It met yesterday to determine if the June 28 date should be extended. The agency never conducted a cost-benefit analysis and only recently approached retailers about the size of the non-compliant inventory.
Yesterday’s CPSC hearing was the first time the 100,000 figure was publicly released. It represents the inventory of just five retailers as of May 31. The names of the companies were not disclosed.
The commission’s 3-to-2 vote broke down on party lines. Chairman Inez Tenenbaum and commissioners Bob Adler and Thomas Moore voted in favor of preserving the June 28 deadline. Commissioners Nancy Nord and Anne Northup voted to extend it.