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North Texans head out for last-minute holiday shopping despite freezing temps, record-high inflation

Despite inflation and rising interest rates, the National Retail Federation anticipates consumers will spend more on gifts this holiday season compared to this time

DALLAS — Even as an arctic blast hits North Texas, shoppers bundled up and hit retail stores at Fort Worth’s Tanger Outlets for last-minute holiday shopping.

“It’s last minute,” said Southlake resident Krystal Jost. "We just love it, it’s the fun of Christmas."

The freezing temperatures weren’t a concern for Jost, who was hoping to find gifts for her four children. Despite the cold, she opted for outdoor shopping.

“I love it. We could just take our time,” Jost said. “We love saving money, so this over the mall any day.”

Despite inflation and rising interest rates, the National Retail Federation anticipates a strong holiday shopping season.

NRF forecasts this year's holiday sales will grow 6-8% over last year’s sales. Americans are forecast to spend between $942-$960 billion on holiday shopping this year.

Financial expert Derrick Kinney told WFAA holiday shoppers aren’t holding back.

“The party doesn’t end until the shopping continues on Christmas,” Kinney said. “For most people, they have not had a job loss or salaries cut, so if we see the economy really get negative next year, that may change the entire landscape.”

It comes as more Americans are using credit cards to make purchases. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s November report showed a 15% increase in card balances, the largest increase in the last 18 years.

“One thing we’ve seen, beginning with Black Friday after Thanksgiving, consumers trying to spend money, and the problem is, are they overspending?” Kinney said. “More people than ever before have taken money out of their 401ks early, which means they may be betting on the future to take care of today.”

Joe Williams, a Mansfield resident was out shopping Friday afternoon. He’s hoping to stay on a budget this year in anticipation of purchasing a house in the next few months.

"I'm absolutely cutting back, I’m also not worried,” Williams said. “I know my limits. Still doing it, but being very cautious right now.”

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