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Inflation hovers over shoppers heading into Black Friday

Returning to traditional holiday shopping patterns begins on Black Friday, but customers are feeling the effects of inflation, according to the AP.

Shoppers have suffered as a result of rising prices for food, rent, gas, and other household expenses. As a result, many people are reluctant to spend money unless there is a significant sale and are becoming more picky about the things they will buy, frequently switching to cheaper goods and more affordable stores.

Additionally, consumers are using their credit cards more often now that the Federal Reserve is raising rates to slow the U.S. economy, as well as using “buy now, pay later” services like Afterpay that let customers pay for purchases over time. Such financial difficulties can entice customers to shop sales.

The patterns this year are different from those last year, when people were buying early out of concern that they wouldn’t get what they needed due to supply network bottlenecks. Because it was difficult for them to bring in merchandise, stores didn’t have to offer many discounts.

However, some pandemic behaviors continue today. Despite things returning to normal, many retailers who closed their doors on Thanksgiving Day and instead promoted discounts on their websites to reduce crowds in-store are still sticking with those tactics.

Analysts view this year’s five-day Black Friday weekend, which also includes Cyber Monday, as a crucial indicator of consumers’ willingness to spend. 20% of the annual retail industry sales are made during the two months between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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