Inflation impacting holiday shopping for some this year

NOW: Inflation impacting holiday shopping for some this year

ST JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind., --- Inflation is still hitting folks hard, but despite its impact experts are still predicting a record year of retail shopping. However, they do expect people to be a lot more conscious this time around.

“I have four kids so it's kind of hard with the prices going up,” said Michiana shopper Tia Sexton.

Sexton is a single mother of four who still plans to cash in on holiday shopping deals this year, but like many other shoppers she said inflation has made her think a lot more about how much she spends.

“Last year I spent probably about $500 a kid and it's probably going to be like half that this year, it's kind of sad,” she explained.

“It's made me a little more conscience about what I'm spending and about what I’m spending it on,” added another Sandy Frazier, another Michiana shopper.

Despite inflation causing some folks to be more conscious while shopping this year, the National Retail Federation still predicts another record year of sales, with a jump of 6-8% percent from last year, and the highest turnout being from online shopping.

“The expectation is that people will be in stores, or they will be online in numbers probably greater than last year,” said John Talbott, the Director of the Center for Education & Research in Retail at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

“I do think one thing that you have to consider with inflation is that the average purchase for individuals may be higher on a dollar basis but maybe not on a unit basis.”

Talbott believes those folks that are still going out to shop will be a lot more intentional and more willing to rack of up debt.

“People will overcome the inability to deal with the higher prices by the use of debt. There is some expectation that we will see larger percentages of purchases via credit card debt then might typically be the case,” he explained.

If you’re planning to take advantage of doorbuster Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals this year, Talbott shared tips to help free up funds for this year’s holiday shopping list.

“On those basic purchases considering walking away from some branded items and looking more at generic brands stores are offering,” he said. “That frees up some money for those 'would like to have things' that you might want to get for a loved one or a child or something like that.”

Experts like Talbott also recommend comparing prices from stores to make sure you’re getting the best deal, sticking to a stricter list if you’re tight on money, and always buy from a trusted source if you’re making an online purchase.

A list of when stores open this Black Friday can be found here.

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