Consumers skip holiday shopping because of high food prices: Deloitte

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  • Nearly 12% of U.S. consumers don’t plan to shop this holiday season, according to a Deloitte poll.
  • Most of them are low-income households who cited rising food costs as their main concern.
  • A combination of inflation and a shortage could mean vacations are more expensive this year.

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Rising prices could mean some families won’t be able to afford Christmas presents this year.

The percentage of consumers who don’t plan to shop this holiday season is rising as prices continue to rise, according to Deloitte’s 2021 Holiday Retail Survey, which polled 4,315 U.S. consumers between September 7 and September 14, 2021.

The survey found that 11.5% of consumers did not plan to spend this year, compared to 4.9% in 2020, 2.9% in 2019 and 4.2% in 2018. The majority of shoppers who say that they won’t buy holiday gifts – 65% – earn $ 50,000 or less per year, Deloitte found.

Half of consumers who plan to stay outside the holiday shopping season cited higher food prices as the main reason they spend less.

The situation is different for high income households. Deloitte estimates that Americans will spend an average of $ 1,463 during the holiday season, up 5% from last year, with higher incomes accounting for the majority of these expenses. Yet regardless of their income, consumers are bracing for an expensive shopping season: nearly 70% of shoppers expect higher prices during the holidays, Deloitte found.

The US economy is experiencing a period of inflation that does not appear to be easing anytime soon – Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned last month that prices would remain high until the middle of 2022. This inflation is particularly striking grocery stores hit hard, frustrating consumers who are fed up with paying more for everyday items like corn, soybeans, coffee and meat.

At the same time, businesses are using inflation as an excuse to keep prices high, a practice that translates into higher profits for businesses and fewer discounts and offers for consumers, Dominick Reuter and Andy reported. Kiersz from Insider.

Woman stands in front of display of artificial Christmas trees


Loren Elliott / Reuters


Holidays could cost more this year

The combination of inflation and persistent shortages can mean that vacations are going to be expensive across the board.

Traveling for the holidays should cost more than usual no matter how you do it: Rental car prices are always high, as are jet fuel prices, which means plane tickets could. also be more expensive.

Gifts are also likely to cost more. New and used cars are significantly more expensive this year due to the current semiconductor shortage; electronic devices like game consoles and televisions suffer the same fate; and toy makers warn shelves could be bare than usual thanks to shipping snafus. If toy manufacturers are able to ship their products, they pay premiums which can result in higher prices for buyers.

And rising food costs mean higher prices for popular holiday meals like turkey. Additionally, meat suppliers warn that small turkeys will be scarce as the pandemic has made small gatherings the norm.

Even the decor is unsure. Live Christmas trees could be more expensive and harder to find due to a combination of climate change, surging demand during the pandemic and the late impacts of 2008


Recession

which led to a smaller supply of trees. Growers said they had to increase their prices as a result – in fact, the average price of a tree has more than doubled since 2008, according to data from the National Christmas Tree Association.

Prices for artificial trees are also expected to skyrocket due to continued grunts in the supply chain. Fake trees could cost up to 25% more as retailers try to recoup skyrocketing shipping prices, and congested ports mean products may be out of stock. Balsam Hill, a company that sells trees, wreaths and garlands, told the Wall Street Journal in September that it needed to raise prices by about 20%.


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