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Inflation is expected to impact shopping this holiday season, with many consumers likely buying fewer gifts and spending less overall.
Darrin Duber-Smith, a professor of marketing at Metro State University of Denver, said that’s why big names like Amazon and Walmart are offering deals earlier than ever.
“Even if retail sales rise, if you account for inflation, you’re probably going to actually see an overall drop in retail sales for the first time in a very long time,” Duber-Smith said.
Duber-Smith said retailers are trying to sell off excess inventory and may slash prices on those items. He also suggests gift cards as a way to offset inflation.
“There are thousands of different gift card brands out there, and it's one of those things where inflation doesn't really matter as much,” he said.
But for those who want to give something more special, locally owned shops may be a way to save money on unique gifts.
Robin Lohre owns the Denver gift shop Talulah Jones. The store sells clothes, housewares, toys and other trinkets at all price levels. Lohre said the holiday season is a critical time.
“It is our make it or break it time and this is this is how we can be here for the next year,” she said.
She appreciates loyal customers who still prefer the in-person shopping experience.
“When you come in here you know people, people recognize their neighbor or run into an old friend, so we hope that that's the draw,” Lohre said.
Another way to save money and give meaningful gifts is by shopping at thrift stores. Arc Thrift Stores' marketing director Maggie Scivicque said giving a second-hand item is becoming more acceptable.
“What we’re learning is that people are really starting to understand the impact on the environment buying second-hand has, so people appreciate it on a different level,” she said.
A survey by consulting company Deloitte found Denver shoppers plan to spend 12% less overall this holiday season compared to 2021. Twenty percent of those surveyed planned to have their holiday shopping done by the end of October.