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Retailers look for ways to keep customers happy despite inflation, supply chain worries

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 2:33 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - You may have noticed it already. This year’s Holiday shopping season is packing a one-two punch of rising prices due to inflation, and limited inventory due to supply chain issues. For local retailers, already struggling to bounce back from the pandemic, it’s not the best outlook. The good news is that some of those shop owners are finding ways to keep their customers happy.

According to a new survey by the Conference Board, Americans are expected to spend $1,022 on gifts and Holiday-related items this year, but that amount of money won’t put quite as much under the tree as it did last year.

Barnhardt Jewelers in downtown Salisbury is a shining, sparkling, Christmas showplace. It’s the second Holiday season in the downtown location, and things are going well.

“My traffic has increased 60%, it’s been wonderful,” said owner Debbie Barnhardt Basinger.

Basinger says she was able to ward off one supply chain issue earlier this year.

“We noticed a shortage on watch batteries earlier this year, so we started talking about supply chains and we started buying Christmas early,” Basinger said.

She wants to keep prices low for customers, but there are some cases where she has no choice.

“If we have to order something special, a special order, it could be a little higher because the price of gold is up,” Basinger added.

“I think people either are not surprised about not having a product or the price increasing because it is everywhere you go now,” said Jeff Moose. “We’ve definitely tried to fill in gaps where we could and be proactive with the current situation really globally.”

Moose just moved his Backcountry and Beyond outdoor store from East Innes St./Faith Road to a large downtown location in the 300 block of S. Main Street in Salisbury. He needs a good Holiday season, despite dealing with supply shortages and inflation.

“We’ve had some things on order for over a year now, just waiting,” Moose said. “We have seen some inflation in some of our products and we’re trying to kind of follow their lead, with the manufacturers saying this is where the price is then we’re the same price as anywhere across the country.”

Shoppers at large retail chains say they’re seeing higher prices too.

“It looks like the prices have gone up a lot,” said shopper Beth Farmer. “Some of the places like Walmart, Sam’s, places like that you could really get good deals, they have really gone up I think.”

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