Seattle is the worst city in the country for holiday shopping, says Bankrate study

Nov 16, 2023, 8:53 AM

(Photo from KIRO 7)...

(Photo from KIRO 7)

(Photo from KIRO 7)

Can you believe it? Seattle has the worst holiday shopping in the country.

A study by Bankrate looked at affordability, purchasing power, and accessibility to shopping across the country.

And we’re hurting especially with affordability. One reason is Seattle’s 10.25% sales tax.

“So, the average American plans to spend $875 on holiday items and gifts this year. But if you try to translate that number to Seattle, you actually see that locals in Seattle have to spend over $1,000 to buy the equivalent of $875,” said Bankrate Analyst Alex Gailey.

And as we’ve seen retailers leave the area, the survey picks up on the trend, ranking Seattle low in access to shopping.

“Seattle doesn’t have as many retail stores in relation to the population. It has significantly less than Detroit, which came number one on our list,” said Gailey.

Mark Johnson from the Washington State Retail Association blames dwindling access to crime.

“To me, that is the dire last-ditch effort for a retailer when they have to make this very difficult decision to shut their doors because they cannot provide safe shopping or a safe, safe place of employment,” said Johnson.

The survey rated Seattle’s purchasing power as high, with a median annual income of $83k. However, having more money means nothing if prices are high. So how can shoppers find a better experience?

Bankrate said make sure you have a plan on how much to spend on each individual recipient and set limits around each person, including yourself.

Here’s a tip, if you have a smartphone, use it to price match. Target, Amazon, and Walmart are typically willing to price match but don’t be afraid to try other stores too.

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