Inflation puts squeeze on local shoppers’ budgets ahead of holidays

SPOKANE, Wash. — Holiday shopping may be more challenging this year. With inflation and higher costs, shoppers are hesitant to spend money.

According to Washington State University’s recent report, 82-percent of people in the Pacific Northwest say inflation is likely to impact their holiday shopping.

“We are struggling. It’s one of those situations where we are looking at expenses versus the number of people seeing inside the store,” said Jacqueline Smith. She’s the owner of Our Beating Hearts Jewelry and Crystals.

At the corner of Washington and Main in downtown Spokane, the owner of a local gift shop is seeing fewer customers coming in every day.

“Normally we would see probably somewhere around 15-20 people a day usually. Right now, we are kind of lucky if we see a quarter of that…four to five a day,” Smith said.

She believes it’s because costs are skyrocketing.

“Grocery stores, gas stations, our travel, these are all the expenses that we are normally paying but they cost more this time of the year,” Smith said.

According to WSU’s recent report, 32 percent of shoppers say they plan to spend less — a 10 percent drop since 2021.

As holidays are just around the corner, consumers are feeling inflation’s pinch.

“In my car, I put premium what’s that like roughly 6 dollars sometimes it always depends on how it is. Right now, for the shopping, I’m just seeing where I can get some good deals at any stores I can find,” said Omar Rodriguez, a local shopper.

One shopper says she is hesitant to go to the store now.

“When you go buy one thing, you have to buy several things just to get there. You have to pay for gas. You have to pay for parking. Of course, if you get hungry, there’s a situation you have to buy food…even fast food is not cheap anymore,” said Lina Barazza, a local shopper.