With Inflation Biting, Shoppers Line Up to Seek Deals

 People wait in line outside of Target on Black Friday in Auburn Hills, Mich. on Nov. 25, 2022. (Nic Antaya/The New York Times)
People wait in line outside of Target on Black Friday in Auburn Hills, Mich. on Nov. 25, 2022. (Nic Antaya/The New York Times)

NEW YORK — At Macy’s flagship store in Manhattan, one of the most popular Black Friday destinations in the city, shoppers lined up early Friday to snag deals — and to talk about inflation.

From 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., a mix of tourists and locals formed lines at entrances to the store, admiring the Christmas displays. Some came with large suitcases to carry their expected hauls. While some from out of town were there to experience the holiday season in New York, others were more concerned about seeking discounts as the highest inflation in decades squeezes their spending.

Macy’s employees applauded as they welcomed customers into the store at 6.

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Tammy Freeman, 59, of New York, stood at the front of the line near the main entrance and said that she was eager to buy various items, including a case for her daughter’s laptop. Freeman said that she comes to Macy’s every other year around this time, but she noted the strain that inflation had put on her wallet this year.

“I have to budget more. I have to catch the sales more,” Freeman said.

Oliver Woodards, 23, a flight attendant from London, said that he was hoping to buy a winter jacket and some clothes. Woodards said that inflation wasn’t affecting him as much because his wages had gone up to accommodate the higher prices. With many industries facing labor shortages, some workers have been able to push for raises that take into account the rising cost of living. Companies generally cover that by raising their prices, creating a cycle of inflation.

“Our wages are going up as well with the inflation,” Woodards said.

But for Stefanie Hausch, 55, of Ashburn, Virginia, who comes to Macy’s every year for Black Friday with her family, inflation was a worry. She said that she was hoping to buy clothes, shoes and makeup, and that one of her daughters was considering opening her first Macy’s credit card. Hausch added that inflation, particularly high food prices, had influenced her thinking this year.

“Normally, we’re not as cautious about our spending,” Hausch said. “We’ll probably be spending maybe half of what we normally spend.”

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