GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Skyrocketing inflation isn’t just hard on customers, it’s also something store managers and business owners are having to work around. WITN caught up with some of them along with shoppers today to see how they’re faring.
Whether in the egg or dairy section, rising costs are forcing shoppers in Eastern Carolina to re-think what they put in their carts. Inflation hit 8.6 percent in May, the biggest yearly increase since December 1981. With the average gallon of gas nearing $5 as well, some have chosen to cut back on driving. But one thing they can’t avoid is grocery shopping.
“Meat’s just gotten crazy. I’ve had to change my selection to maintain my meals,” said shopper Bobby Boyd.
“At one time I could actually afford a steak, but that’s not anymore,” explained Maime Atkinson.
The challenge is not just one for customers to navigate. Store managers have had to get smart to keep prices manageable.
“We offset it a lot of times by doing buy ins on stuff. Like we’ll hear the price may increase, so what we do is we buy large quantities and store them so we can hold the price down for the customers,” explained Greenville’s Piggly Wiggle Store Manager.
For customers like Christina Rouse, the impact is two-fold, because she buys groceries for her business, The Soul Food Kitchen.
“We’re losing business right now because it’s the summer, everybody’s trying to save, and it’s hitting us all across the board,” she explained. “The prices have doubled, and have gotten much higher.”
The Congressional Budget Office projects relief may not come until 2023, meaning tighter budgets, could be a longer-term reality.
“I’m hoping for this to end, but the way it looks now, we’re gonna be dealing with this for a mighty long time,” said Atkinson.
Along with gas and groceries, flights also went up by more than 37 percent. The price of new vehicles is also up more than 12 percent.
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