CHELAN COUNTY — Consumer spending typically fluctuates over the course of a year – without the added layer of economic impacts limiting household cash flow and global pandemics barricading shoppers at home, stuck in the hamster wheel of online shopping. Wenatchee Valley Business World zeroed in on local retailers to identify if fears of recession, feeling the weight of inflation and the aftermath of COVID-19 have compounded the normal swings in consumer spending trends – and it was a mixed bag.

“Leavenworth saw a huge bump in sales and visitors the year after Covid restrictions were lowered. There was a lot of pent up desire to 'get out' and be 'normal' again,” said Kevin Rieke, owner of The Hat Shop in Leavenworth. “Probably the stimulus money folks received also helped with disposable income to spend on vacations like coming to Leavenworth.”

Kalie Worthen: (509) 661-6372 or

on Twitter @KalieWorthen

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