Discount stores

Inflation-hit shoppers turn to discount stores ahead of the holidays

Consumers in the United States are increasingly shopping at discount stores, a sign that families are feeling the effects of the highest inflation since the 1990s as the holiday season approaches.

Spending at discount stores was up 65% last week from 2019 and 21% from the previous week, according to Facteus, a company that tracks credit and debit card transactions. The discount store category, which includes Dollar Tree Inc. and Five Below Inc., saw by far the largest increase among any type of retailer, according to Facteus data.

The sharp rise suggests that consumers, especially low-income households, looked for lower prices wherever they could find them last week. The last time discount stores saw a big spike in spending was in March, when all retailers benefited from a $ 1.9 trillion relief program that sent new stimulus checks to retailers. million households.

Now that the relief programs have expired, Americans are looking for deals. While wages have also increased during this year, rising prices for everything from energy and rent to food and vehicles have eaten away at those gains.

Consumer prices in the United States rose 6.2% last month from a year earlier, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday, cementing high inflation as a hallmark of the pandemic recovery.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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