CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – With Black Friday quickly approaching, retailers and shoppers are prepping themselves, but how long could lines be this year?

Black Friday has seen an amount of change over the last few years due to the pandemic and now inflation. 22News spoke with AIC economic professor, John Rogers about what impact inflation could have on Black Friday sales.

According to Rogers, inflation remains a big problem and it’s peaked, as it’s almost 8 percent. “As long as it doesn’t go up, I think people have sort of gotten used to it, Rogers indicated. “As a result, I think there is a lot of optimism about the shopping season.”

After previous fears of going into a recession and not having enough money left to spend for the Christmas season, consumers will still expect deals they can afford. “Even though inflation is 7/7.5 percent, you don’t pay a whole lot more than you did last year because retailers have to liquidate those inventories,” Rogers explained.

Rogers adds that underlying inflation numbers are a bit promising. He says that retailers are up for it and are ready to influence shoppers to get out. “As a result of supply problems, a lot of retailers build up excessive inventories, so that could be good for shoppers,” Rogers said. “So even though there is inflation, these companies are under pressure to reduce their inventories back in line.”

There could be an extensive amount of competition amongst retailers, in order to move the merchandise. “I think there is a good supply, and retailers need to bring down those inventories, big opportunity for shoppers,” Rogers expressed. “For the most part, everybody is fully employed and people can work overtime, and there is just a lot of opportunity to make money, which takes some of the bites out of inflation.”

Rogers predicts that retailers will see an increase in profit as he feels people are going to come out and buy things. Another profitable amount for retailers will come from Cyber Monday sales. Rogers says consumers will have to look at when the deals are going to come out, whether they going to come out on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or the week before to get the best deals.