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Green Bay businesses, consumers battle increased prices as inflation hits highest level in 40 years

Posted at 10:09 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 23:38:50-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Keeping supplies in stock is costing more for one local bike shop. So sometimes, Matt Fisher has to break some unfavorable news to customers.

"Parts are at an all-time premium and so naturally the bikes that have those parts are reflecting that," he said. "We sense they're annoyed."


And Fisher says expensive or unavailable parts like frames and wheels aren't just affecting Broken Spoke Bike Studio in Green Bay.

"We're seeing across the board bike prices go up about 25 to 40 percent," the store manager said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports consumer prices rose 7 percent in December compared to the year before. It's the fastest inflation spike in nearly 40 years.

"Their long-term goal is to keep it around 2 percent a year and they've got multiple things they can do to keep that number closer to two percent," Hobart-based financial planner Andrew Hermsen said.

Added with high inflation, Fisher is battling long shipping timeframes.

"If I place an order from Shimano, I'm lucky if I get it at 18 months right now," he said.

But Broken Spoke fights to order early and in bulk. And Fisher says that usually brings cheaper inventory prices.

CORRECTION Inflation Gas Prices
CORRECTS DATE - Chevron Gas prices over the $5 mark are displayed in Visalia, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

"That's the only way we really can maintain margins and kind of keep this thing afloat because we see a lot of people try doing it the other way and it not working very well," he said.

Fisher believes costs will continue to go up in the bike industry. Still, he says his customer demand is high.

"A lot of times, we're getting these $10,000 to $15,000 bikes in the building and it's like 'what are we gonna do with this?'" Fisher said. "And 24 hours later, we'll sell it. So it does help that there is a line for every bike right now."

Economists expect interest rates to increase across the country as a method to control increasing inflation.