Inflation taking a toll on Main Street, USA, during Holiday shopping season
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Unfortunately, a grim outlook this holiday season into the new year...for all of us, including shoppers, local businesses, and suppliers.
The Federal Reserve now warning Congress inflation will be lingering into next year, leaving us with sticker shock. On top of that, the new COVID-19 variant Omicron could have a negative impact.
Greater concerns about the virus could reduce people’s willingness to work in person, which would slow progress in the labor market and intensify supply-chain disruptions.
Just about anyone who speak with who has been shopping will tell you what we’re all seeing.
“We have a lot of things that we normally buy that have gone up a great deal,” said Vickie Sanders.
Local retailers don’t want to raise prices for customers, especially now, but in most cases, they don’t have a choice.
“We have seen it in the ability to buy our tags, bags, little things that go on the tags, we’ve also seen it in our local community,” said Christina Gordon, manager of the Growing Pains Family Consignment Shop in downtown Salisbury. Growing Pains has been in business for more than 30 years. They’re a little different in that they don’t have to buy their products from vendors, even so, they see the wide ranging impact of higher prices both at work, and at home.
“Simple things such as hamburger,” Gordon added. “You can normally get $2.99, $3.99 a pound, now it’s $5.99 a pound.”
A few doors up on Main Street in Salisbury is the Three Jems boutique. This has been a big year for the store, they’ve managed to add a new location in Kannapolis. Owner Jenna Faggart says she’s been trying to meet the inflation challenge by have a strong presence on social media.
“Our online sales are higher than they’ve ever been, so we may not have as much foot traffic, necessarily, in our Salisbury store, but our online sales more than make up for it,” Faggart said.
Economists point to high gas prices as one the main reasons customers and retailers are paying more for products, and many customers agree.
“I think it’s going to be here for a while unless they get the gas prices to where the people that are delivering can afford to do it,” Sanders added. “I have a cousin that’s a truck driver and she tells me that the gas prices are eating into what she can make.”
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