Target, Best Buy and Macy's warn that consumers buy fewer products due to high prices

Target has been one of the retailers that has suffered the most from changes in consumer habits, either due to back inventories or high prices.

Photo: ROBYN BECK/Getty Images

Inflation that has remained at historically high levels has begun to influence consumer demand for certain types of products that they do not consider essential.

Large retailers such as Target, Best Buy and Macy's warned that customers are making changes to the way they shop and they have omitted spending on products such as clothing, appliances and household items. Now her purchases are limited to groceries and basic items.

“Spiral inflation forced families to suspend discretionary purchases and focus most of their spending on needs,” Target CEO Brian Cornell said this week.

The inflation rate has moderated in clothing, for example, while prices have dropped in electronics.

Several retailers predict that changes in consumer behavior will lead to a decline in sales this year.

"The consumer electronics industry continues to feel the effects of the broader macro environment and its impact on consumers," said Matt Bilunas, Best Buy's chief financial officer. The company predicts that its comparable sales will decline between 3% and 6% this year.

However, this is not bad news for all retailers. Some discount chains may benefit of consumers looking for bargains.

TJX, the parent of TJ Maxx and Marshalls, said it expects comparable sales to grow as much as 3% this year. Shopper visits to discount stores like Aldi have also increased, according to research firm

The slowdown that has been observed could cause customers to find more items in stores and some others with discounts as a strategy of retailers to reduce their inventory.

However, despite these strategies, many companies have not been strong enough to cope with the decline in demand and have declared bankruptcy.

Some of these stores include Party City, Tuesday Morning, mattress manufacturer Serta Simmons, and Independent Pet Partners, a pet retailer.

Bed Bath & Beyond is also under bankruptcy watchaccording to credit rating agencies.

A few weeks ago, investment firm Hudson Bay Capital agreed to back Bed Bath & Beyond's public stock offering as a way to raise more than $1 billion and avoid bankruptcy.

Still, some analysts doubt the deal is enough to help the struggling home goods retailer.

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