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Price problems pile up for Texas consumers, businesses ahead of holiday season

High inflation and supply chain disruptions loom ahead of holiday season
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Posted at 8:26 AM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 09:46:45-04

ROBINSON, Texas — Texans feel the sting of sticker shock as higher inflation and supply chain disruptions continue to impact the U.S. economy.

A labor shortage in transportation and shipping pile-up at U.S. ports equals a pile-on for shoppers ahead of the holiday season.

In the Lonestar State, consumers are spending the most on retail gasoline since 2014, according to AAA Texas latest Weekend Gas Watch.

Meanwhile, at the grocery store, the price for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs is up more than 10% from last year.

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Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs up 10.5 percent for year ended September 2021

"It's not just the necessities like groceries," said Shannon Turner.

Turner is a mom and business owner in Robinson and says the sting of sticker shock seems to be around the corner today.

"You can't do laundry anymore without wondering where you're going to get the money to do so," said Turner.

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Shannon Turner is a mom and business owner in Robinson, TX. Supply chain disruptions and high inflation continue to have impact her at work and at home.

For Turner, the price problems arrive at home and work. She owns and operates AnimotionPlus, a popular local shop that sells toys and figures imported from Japan.

"Some of the figures we have here are different anime in Japan and also some of the gaming type stuff," said Turner.

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At AnimotionPlus located in Robinson, TX close 90 percent of the merchandise sold is imported from countries like Japan.

At this family-owned business, Turner says about 90% of their merchandise is imported from Japan. Turner operates the business with her son Joshua. Both of them say supply chain issues have been on their mind as transportation costs have increased.

"But, business has been good," Shannon Turner said. Really good, as consumer demand for their products has been red hot.

"The items just fly off the shelves," Co-Owner -Joshua Turner said. "Especially if it's a hot item, they're gone."

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Co-Owner Joshua Turner says product is flying off the shelves as consumer demand remains red hot. But supply chain disruptions are his largest concern as getting popular items becomes more difficult and costly.

But now, keeping those shelves stocked is becoming a growing concern.

"We're extremely limited on what we can buy," he said. "We use to be able to say I want 20 or 30 of this thing. Now it's like we allocate. You don't tell us what you want we allocate our resources."

Along with selling products at their store, they also import items for conventions held across the state. And supply is now the biggest concern for Joshua.

"Because we have conventions as well and we’re really scared we will not have the merchandise available to do conventions and Christmas as well," said Joshua.

It's an interesting dynamic playing out in the global economy and here in the United States. Despite a waning view of the economy by U.S. consumers as high inflation and increasing prices loom.

Consumer demand continues to hold firm, ahead of the hugely significant period of peak U.S. shopping season.

Paul Bradford is a CPA with Malcom Johnson CPA and Advisors.

"Most of these small mom-and-pop shops, need to do at least 75% of their total business within that 60-day time frame," Bradford said. "Otherwise they're not going to generate enough revenue to basically stay in business."

Still, amid high inflation and supply chain disruptions, both consumers and businesses owners may wonder how they should prioritize their spending decisions.

Bradford says many business owners have begun looking at ways to provide transportation for certain products rather than incur high transportation costs.

And consumers should shore their savings account with at least six months of reserve cash on hand.

“It's like I always tell my parents you can never have too much money in savings.”

Meanwhile, it's hard to sugarcoat what to expect going forward. Bradford says buckle down for supply chain disruptions and inflation continue. But he's confident like in other economic downturns.

"We here, we're alive, and we're breathing," he said. "That's the main thing. Just be positive."