MIAMI, Fla. — With Black Friday deals already in full swing and almost a month until Christmas, shoppers across the state may notice that their gifts are not that much cheaper.
“Where they used to buy three dresses, they are buying one,” explained Rosa Riguero.
Riguero is the owner and founder of Prinzessa Boutique. She has been at the helm of the retail shop for 15 years. She has been met with many challenges, but this year, it’s different. And it’s all thanks to inflation.
“You sit down as a business owner and say to yourself it’s not about making money this year; it’s about surviving the storm,” she shared.
Riguero continued, “The economy right now is a huge storm, and we are on a humongous cruise ship, and there’s a little steering wheel this big, and it takes a while to turn it in the right direction.”
The business owner said what’s been hurting her the most has been shipping costs.
“The other day, I got a bill from one of the shipping companies,” explains Riguero. “It was one vendor; the bill was $1,800; the bill is usually $300.”
And in turn, the cost she’s had to take on has been passed down to the consumer.
“This used to sell for $60,” Riguero said holding up a dress. “I know that off the bat, and what is it selling at now? $80 dollars, and I am not even putting it at full price up.”
While the whole store is on sale for holiday shopping, there are still bills to be paid. Riguero explained insurance has increased, as has the price for employees and rent. The result of increased costs and higher costs to the consumer is less foot traffic and fewer purchases by loyal customers, and yet they are still spending the same.
“A 20 to 30% decline in number, where every year for 15 years prior it was an increase. Every year beat every year,” shared Riguero.
It’s a trend that’s happening nationwide.
According to Money.com, in the past year, prices for goods and services have risen by 8.2%. In August, they rose another .4%. A survey by financial firm Deloitee said 51% of consumers expected to spend more this holiday season, and 66% plan to be more frugal because of the higher costs.
“We just see a difference,” shared Riguero. “From this Black Friday to last Black Friday online, instead of putting ten items in a shopping cart, they are putting three.”
According to a survey by Gartner Marketing, shoppers this year said their top three considerations before buying are price, value, and free shipping.
And while many wait for large discounts, Riguero said shoppers shouldn’t get their hopes up.
“The price isn’t going to go down that much,” shared Riguero. “They are going to lower the price of two items, and everything else is skyrocketing. That is reality. And the two items they are going to lower are things you really don’t want.”
Riguero said while this holiday won’t look the same as years past, she’s thinking ahead about how the high prices may impact the new year.
“My main concern is January. January is going to be scary for a lot of people,” Riguero said.