inflation challenges

Online Shoppers Prioritize Expenses Due to Inflation – And Retailers Are Taking Notice

NBC Universal, Inc.

Big summer sales are happening right now at major retailers, but with inflation and gas prices still so high, are shoppers willing to spend?

Typically, July is a slow month for retailers, so putting out deep discounts can help bring in customers. But this year, people we spoke to say they’ve got other priorities.

“I’ve got a lot of bills, so it’s really just necessities right now,” said West Hartford resident Alex Shlien.

With gas prices and inflation a lot higher than we’d like to see, it’s making shoppers rethink how they spend their money.

“Everything else has gone up, so I’m not buying any goodies or any extras or anything like that,” Shlien said.

Shlien is keeping away from those big July sales retailers are advertising.

Shopper Gale Nitti said while her kids take part in a lot of the online discounts, she prefers not to.

“I don’t like shopping online because I like to see it, try it on,” Nitti said.

Whatever the reason may be, University of New Haven Adjunct Professor of Economics John Rosen said sales are down a bit and retailers are paying attention.

“In general, they’re offering better deals and deeper discounts because they’re trying to get people out to buy things. So you’ll see more early back-to-school ads and promotions on these sales and things like that,” Rosen said.

But Rosen points out that during the last two years, many people spent the pandemic buying goods online. So small and big vacations are where a lot of families are choosing to spend their money this summer.

“Since more money is going into trips, more money is going into restaurants, less money is going into more mundane things,” Rosen said.

But taking a lesson from inflation during the 70s, Rosen said it may be worth taking a look to see if items you need are part of those sales. And if so, stock up.

“When you do see a sale or some sort on something you need or your family consumes, take advantage of the sale and buy as much of it as you think you’re going to need for several months. Because inflation means prices are going up,” Rosen said.

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