With 10 days of holiday shopping left, shoppers are cutting back on spending

There are 10 days left to get your Christmas shopping done, but with inflation and looming economic uncertainty, how much shopping are people really doing this season?  

Santana Row in San Jose is one of South Bay's most popular shopping venues. 

"There are quite a few people around and the weekends are super packed, but maybe they’re doing some online shopping as well since I don’t see too many people carrying bags of things that they’ve shopped for," said Denise Janeczek, who lives at Santana Row.     

With its Christmas decorations and lights beaming brightly each night, Santana Row draws thousands to the retail center each week, even if they aren’t shopping that day.  

"Now with COVID, we’re kind of more free to roam around…it’s kind of nice to be back…looking for presents intentionally in a store, I kind of like that feeling. I think being back at it, kind of seeing what the sales are, and what’s going on here, maybe would give me an idea of presents I can get," said Jerianne Banson, who works in San Jose. 

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The director of Santa Clara University’s Retail Management Institute says it’s been a tough year for consumers and retailers. Recent data shows people may be looking for a social experience and are not spending as much money on gifts while shopping.  

"But what you’re seeing in that return in traffic, you’re not seeing that increase in sales," said Kirthi Kalyanam, director of the Santa Clara University 

Retail Management Institute.     

Kalyanam says retail sales this holiday should increase by about 3%, which is lower than initially predicted. But with inflation, he says that actually equates to a sales deficit for retailers.  

"The going on out is mostly a social thing, but what has really happened is, Thanksgiving shopping now has really started kicking in beginning the first of November online," Kalyanam said.  

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Retail Info Systems reports 50% of consumers started their holiday shopping in November last year and this year, retail sales will only increase because of higher prices.   

"We’re holding our own, but we’ve spent less this year than we would have in the past. But other than that, it’s been pretty even," said Lori Rich, a San Jose resident. 

Kalyanam says people will continue to cut back and try to save money where they can. He also expects the price increases we’re seeing right now to still be there in the first quarter of next year.