Inflation hovers over shoppers seeking deals on Black Friday
NEW YORK -- Cautious shoppers hunted for the best deals at stores and online as retailers offered new Black Friday discounts to entice consumers eager to start buying holiday gifts but weighed down by inflation.
Due to elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other essentials, many people were being more selective, reluctant to spend unless there was a big sale. Some were dipping more into savings, turning to “buy now, pay later” services that allow payment in installments, or running up their credit cards at a time when the Federal Reserve is hiking rates to cool the U.S. economy.
Sheila Diggs, 55, went to a Walmart in Mount Airy, Maryland early Friday looking for a deal on a coffee maker. To save money this year, she said the adults in her family are drawing names and selecting one person to shop for.
“Everything’s going up but your paycheck,” said Diggs, who manages medical records at a local hospital.
This year’s trends are a contrast from a year ago when consumers were buying early for fear of not getting what they needed amid supply-network clogs. Stores didn’t have to discount much because they were struggling to bring in items.