Montgomery small business seeing slower holiday shopping season amid inflation

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you are looking for a full outfit or just a statement piece, Mela’s Boutique in Montgomery is said to have a little bit of everything, but owner Laura Tanveer says not as many people are coming in to shop.

“It has been a little slower, I think, but it kind of, it’s off and on,” Tanveer said.

The small business owner has been running her shop for 10 years, and she said this holiday shopping season has come with additional challenges.

“The inflation has been so horrendous,” Tanveer said. “But actually it’s cheaper to come and buy clothes than it is to buy groceries.”

The Associated Press reports that national retail sales fell 0.6% last month compared to the previous month. It’s a sign that inflation could be impacting more families.

The Alabama Retail Association said the slowdown was expected and despite these numbers, Alabamians will likely spend more this holiday season than last year.

“Most of the retailers I’ve talked to expect to end the year really good,” said Nancy Dennis with the Alabama Retail Association. “It just really depends on what they’re doing.”

More shoppers are relying on credit cards. Credit card debt jumped 15% in recent months, the AP reports. People are also spending their savings.

“That may be dwindling too, so that they’re having to depend a little bit more on credit card,” Dennis said.

While many shoppers are looking to save, Tanveer stressed the importance of shopping local around the holidays.

“The city of Montgomery needs our local businesses so that we can pay our sales taxes,” Tanveer said.

She added it is to contribute to bettering the capital city.

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