Retailers React: How are your customers reacting to price inflation?

price inflationEvery two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring stores across the country to provide advice on current topics. This week we asked: How are your customers reacting to price inflation?

Here are their reactions:

Our experience is that customers who are concerned that prices have risen significantly – and who may not be willing to allocate that much – are likely to stay away. Those who venture into our store are typically prepared for it and still buy with the same frequency that we have enjoyed over the years. There is surprisingly little discussion of increased prices.

-John Bretzloff, Barefoot Flooring, Castle Hill, NC

Shop traffic has slowed down a bit. Our customers don’t complain so much about the higher floor prices as about the high inflation in general. I’m not optimistic about the second half of 2022. I hope I’m wrong.

– Bill Zeigler, Charles F. Zeigler & Sons, Hanover, Pa.

Consumers spend more money in the supermarket and at the pump. In the short term you think: this is temporary. I can absorb it.’ However, after a few months, you should look at your budget and re-evaluate your spending.

– Elisabeth Stubbs, Enhance Floors and More, Marietta, Georgia.

We haven’t gotten much backlash regarding the pricing.
We did receive several comments about the availability of material. In fact, several customers started their search for flooring much earlier than usual, assuming the lead time would be several weeks.

-Bobby Merideth, Flooring America OKC, Oklahoma City

During the selection process, we choose to focus on style and design first; price becomes secondary. We have found that discussing market volatility during the transaction often sets a negative tone and makes our customers wonder if now is the right time to make a purchase. We’ve found that when our customer is in the process of finalizing selections – and an increase is announced – they get frustrated when they feel pressured to place an order to avoid the increased cost.

—Scott Browne, Macco’s Flooring Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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