If you’re already making a list and checking it twice ahead of the 2022 holiday shopping season, you might want to check the prices of Christmas trees. They’re expected to be more expensive this year because of higher operating costs tied to the soaring inflation rate.
An August survey of 55 wholesale Christmas tree growers conducted by the Real Christmas Tree Board, an industry group, found that 71% of respondents expect to raise the wholesale prices they charge retailers by 5% to 15% vs. last year, CNN reported. Some might hike prices as much as 20%.
For consumers, the blow might be softened if they buy their trees at large retail chains that can absorb some of the higher wholesale costs. But you can still expect to pay more than you did during the 2021 holiday season.
Most consumers seem resigned to paying higher prices for Christmas trees this year, according to a separate survey the Real Christmas Tree Board conducted in July.
“[Consumers] told us that they do expect to pay more for trees because of overall inflation but that they’re still going to buy their tree,” Marsha Gray, the board’s executive director, told CNN.
The reason trees are so much pricier this year is because growers and wholesalers face higher costs for everything from raw materials and labor to shipping. Production costs in the tree industry are even running higher than the overall inflation rate of more than 8%.
“Agriculture inflation has far surpassed consumer inflation,” Bob Shaefer, CEO of Noble Mountain Tree Farm in Oregon, told CNN. “We want to be as reasonable as we can with our prices given these challenges.”
Because of inflation, you’re also likely to see fewer gifts under those trees this year. Data from market researcher NPD Group found that 29% of U.S. consumers are considering a tighter spending budget during the 2022 holiday season because of economic and personal finance worries, Bloomberg reported.
About one in five holiday shoppers expect to spend less over the holidays because their economic situation has changed, according to NDP, while more than one in 10 said they will spend less on gifts so they can spend more on holiday entertaining.
Meanwhile, researcher Adobe Analytics forecast that online sales in November and December 2022 will rise only 2.5% from the previous year to $209.7 billion, Reuters reported. That’s down from an 8.6% increase a year ago
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