KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — Despite inflation hiking prices, shoppers are still flocking to stores and malls to prepare for the holidays.
“I’m chipping away a little bit by little bit,” says parent Daniel McBain. “You got to chip away at it, can’t be all at once. It takes a little hard to on the on the pocketbook nowadays.”
Even the cost to produce items has gone up. Margaret Kleist, owner of Blue Bridge Games on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids, said her store has had to change its prices because of suppliers.
“Definitely unit costs have been up for the things that we order to and many publishers have adjusted their (suggested retail price) in lockstep with that for rising costs and rising shipping over the last year,” said Margaret Kleist, owner of Blue Bridge Games on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids.
The manager of ToysMark at Grand Rapids’ Woodland Mall Rozhin Zahrouni agreed.
“The prices change by like $1 to $10, or even $15 depending on which items. We had to adjust all of our pricing and even some Legos and stuff, everything had to be changed.”
Like ToysMark, clothing stores like Altar’d State are trying to make the best of the holiday season for their customers.
“We actually have buy one, get one free. And I was like, that’s incredible,” said Nicholas Hopkins, a representative of Altar’d State.
Small businesses like Blue Bridge Games are having to tune into the public’s wants to set themselves apart.
“It has been interesting to sort of pivot to games that may not be available elsewhere. So we can sort of build some recognition for having unique and niche board games,” said Kleist.
Still, shoppers may feel a bigger pinch when they’re shopping.
“It’s been hard,” said McBain.
So stores like Alar’d State and ToysMark are leaning into the holiday spirit.
“Seeing some parents take smaller stuff, or the kids are really wanting them so we do give them discounts on special occasions,” said Zahrouni.
“One of the things that Altar’d state is very clear on is that, it’s a hard economic climate right now for our guests. And so we really are going out of our way to make it a very positive, uplifting kind of moment,” said Hopkins.
McBain told News 8 that inflation won’t stop him from shopping as a cheerful giver and a cheerful spender.
“You got to learn to be able to cut back on that kind of stuff to be able to take care of the more important things in this world which is donate, help other people out and look after the kids,” said McBain.
Since November, retail sales have been down 0.8% since Oct. 2022, but have increased almost 6% from last year, according to the United States Census Bureau.