NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodThomasville


Consumer spending grows during 2023 holiday shopping season; Thomasville businesses still feel inflation pinch

Posted at 5:10 PM, Dec 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-26 17:10:00-05
  • Inflation rose 3.1 percent for the 12 month period ending in November according to the latest consumer price index.
  • Some Thomasville stores are down by 10 percent in sales.
  • Check out the video above to hear other ways has affected small businesses this year.


According to the latest consumer price index, inflation rose 3.1 percent for the 12-month period ending in November. Business owners here in Thomasville tell me they can see the difference.

"When groceries are more expensive, gas is more expensive, and interest rates are up it's definitely going to affect business." Those businesses are adding up just how big of an impact inflation had this holiday season.

"It's kind of a guessing game," said Shelly Barry, Owner of Kathy's. The challenges of being a small business owner in 2023. "You don't know what each year is going to bring you," said Barry,

For Shelly Barry, this year brought on all new challenges, thanks to inflation.

"It's stressful," said Barry.

She owns Kathy's here in downtown Thomasville. While a new report from Mastercard says consumer spending grew 3.1 percent during the 2023 holiday season, Barry says here in the Rose City, shoppers seemed to be feeling the pinch this year.

They're not the only ones.

"Where inflation has affected us is shipping charges have gone up," said Barry. Barry tells me some companies have doubled in shipping charges over this past year.

That hurts small businesses that can't afford to buy in bulk.

Willow Oak Couture owner Mandi Black says those costs make budgeting difficult.

"It's not easy you know. We order inventory way in advance so trying to control that I have cancelled a few of my orders."Black says she's felt the strain even more through the holiday season," said Mandi Black, Owner of Willow Oak Couture.

"It's definitely been more stressful this year. We're definitely down in sales. I average probably about 10% down right now," said Black.

There's still time to get those last minute sales done.

Scripps News reports two of the top 10 shopping days of the year come during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Even so, for people like Barry, "It's tough, it's tough. It's scary for what the future is bringing but we give it to God and move forward."

Mastercard says retail spending online increased 6.3 percent this year.

With that in mind, Black tells me she plans to try and grow her website in the new year.