Big Heating Costs Could Cool Off Big Retail Holiday Discounts

By: Brad Broders
By: Brad Broders

The heat is on for a Stateline shopping frenzy, assuming high heat costs don't cool off the spending, and the lure of big sales.

"So far it's affecting me a lot, because I want to stay warm at my house, and the more money I spend on my house, the less money I spend on other people," Jessica Steele said.

"It seems to be the same to me. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, everything goes on sale, and they try to get you out while you can," Dennis Loofbourrow said.

But how much will be spent once shoppers get out? An expected 40 percent rise in heating bills are expected to pinch shoppers wallets. That means retailers could be forced into even more generous deals leading up to Christmas.

"It's always been a game of chicken, who's going to break first. And I think the retailers broke first this year, and the consumers are going to continue to wait as long as the discounts are there, consumers will continue to shop," Rockford College Professor Bob Von der Ohe said.

Rockford College economics professor Bob Von der Ohe believes the spending effect will show up more during the dog days of winter, a prediction some shoppers agree with.

"We probably don't plan to cut back a lot, but probably will after the 1st of the year, it will all have to be cut back on groceries and things like that," Jennifer Johnson said.

The temptations of big holiday savings, up against the reality of big heating bills.


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