107.5FM WCCN The Rock - The Coolest Station in the Nation
Memories 1370AM 98.5FM
98.7FM / 1450AM WDLB - Timeless Classics
Listen Live: 107.5 THE ROCK92.7 FM
Family owned radio stations serving all of Central Wisconsin

With Inflation and Higher Prices, Shoppers Expected to Spend 8% More this Holiday Season

Monday, November 28th, 2022 -- 12:00 PM

(By Danielle Kaeding, Wisconsin Public Radio) Amid inflation and higher prices, shoppers are expected to spend up to 8 percent more this holiday season through December, according to Danielle Kaeding with Wisconsin Public Radio.

But higher spending may not mean people are buying more gifts. The National Retail Federation’s holiday spending forecast estimates retail sales will grow to roughly $960 billion this year.

That’s coming off record sales last year when shoppers spent 13.5 percent more for a total of $889 billion as people avoided in-person shopping in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite higher turnout and sales projections, retail experts say that doesn’t necessarily mean people are getting more in return for every dollar spent. "I'm not sure how many more goods will be purchased for that since those prices have gone up," said Jerry O’Brien, executive director of the Kohl’s Center for Retailing Excellence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As food and gas prices have surged, the average consumer has less disposable income to spend on extra items like gifts. Purush Papatla, who co-directs the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute at UW-Milwaukee, said the projected sales increase is mostly due to higher prices rather than people buying more items.

"I think smarter consumers can still get quite a bit even with the same amount of spending because there are ways to increase the return on whatever you're spending even today," said Papatla, who is also a marketing professor with the Institute.

As a sign consumers are stretching every dollar, the National Retail Federation said shoppers are looking for deals this holiday season.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.