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

price inflationevery two weeks, FCNews seeks out flooring retailers across the country to offer their advice on hot topics of the day. This week we asked: How are your customers reacting to price inflation?

Here are their responses:

Our experiences are that customers who fear prices have increased substantially—any may not be prepared to allot that much—are likely staying away. Those who are venturing into our store typically are prepared for it and still purchase with the same frequency we have enjoyed over the years. There is surprisingly very little discussion about elevated pricing.

-John Bretzloff, Barefoot Flooring, Castle Hill, NC

Store traffic has slowed a bit. Our customers are not complaining as much about the higher flooring prices as they are about 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 are spending more money at the grocery store and at the pump. Short term you think, ‘This is temporary. I can absorb it.’ After a couple of months, though, you have to look at your budget and re-evaluate your expenditures.

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

We have not received much blowback regarding pricing.
We have, however, received several comments regarding availability of material. In fact, several clients began their search for flooring much earlier than normal assuming the lead time would be several weeks.

-Bobby Merideth, Flooring America OKC, Oklahoma City

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

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

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