I'd mentioned this in passing yesterday, but let's flesh it out a little more today: a dollar store selling its dollar-store things for two dollars is just stupid as all get-out.
Now, I don't know if this is something everybody does, if it's a natural byproduct of getting older, or if this is just some particularly thorough internal stubbornness on my part, but after a while the price I am willing to pay for something crystallizes in my head and I absolutely refuse outright to pay more for that item again in my life. There are certain exceptions to this -- although these exceptions are pretty well limited to milk, bread, peanut butter, gasoline and beer -- but for most everything that isn't an absolute necessity, if it ain't on sale, and it ain't at the price point I default to, I ain't buying it.
A chocolate bar is fifty cents. That's an example, and that's my rule; if it costs more than that, screw you, it's overpriced. I don't need a chocolate bar, and I certainly don't need one enough that I would ever pay a buck twenty or a buck fifty for it. Who are these people playing a dollar and change for fifty grams of chocolate? Whoever you are, you're ruining it for the rest of us.
This line of thought was a primary factor in my diet as a cash-strapped, hardscrabble grad-student; my shopping list would be milk, bread, some vegetables, and then arbitrary selections from whatever items were in the sale cycle that week. Soup is half-off? Yo, I'll eat soup, gimme that.
When you pay attention to these things like I do -- and let's be honest, we're in Winnipeg, there are probably a lot of you doing the same things -- the little differences are noticeable, which means the bigger differences seem glaring. So when chains have spent decades establishing their brand as a dollar store -- a literal dollar store, in which things cost a maximum of a dollar -- they have to have expected that people would be less than impressed when they literally doubled the price of their stuff.
Dollarama is the notable offender here when you walk into one and see their damage control right out front, a sign at the entrance informing customers (and here I am paraphrasing) that "MANY OF OUR ITEMS ARE NOW PRICED AT $1.50 OR $2.00 WE STILL HAVE THOUSANDS OF ITEMS FOR JUST $1". Yeah, okay, but those are all the crap that was never actually worth a dollar begin with. And your name is Dollarama. You aren't like A Buck or Two, who had the forethought to pre-program their future weaseling right into their brand name. (But then Buck or Two tries to charge five bucks for a clock, or who knows what, so the hell with them too.)
It would be plausible for Dollarama defenders to write the increases off as an economy thing -- aw, that economy, you know how it is -- but the change was very clearly made to drive its stock prices, which worked in the short term but appears to be quickly losing its efficacy. That link also foreshadows that the move may have been made in the name of bankrolling future expansion:
"CIBC’s Mr. Caicco says Canada’s dollar-store industry will grow by 60 per cent before the end of the decade, to 2,700 stores, including at least one more U.S. entrant; Dollarama, he says, could have 1,100 of them (compared with 650 today)."
Can you even picture a 60% increase in dollar stores? Like our only collective problem with them is that there aren't enough of them? We're just going to have entire city blocks of them, it's going to be the worst.
These things stick with me, you know? I don't know why. You're all aware that KFC has a Canadian promotion it calls "Toonie Tuesday", which has been running for several years now. And the name implies a certain pricing scheme, doesn't it? The initial deal when it debuted was that two dollars would get you two pieces of chicken -- the pieces they couldn't get rid of otherwise, yes, but two pieces -- and a small bag of fries. The bag holds maybe eight fries, but what did you want? It was two dollars. Plus taxes.
It was unsurprisingly something of a success around parts like these, but then one day -- without anything really in the name of explanation -- the price point on the Tuesday special jumped up to $2.49 plus taxes, and then a while after that to $2.79 plus taxes. So what do they call it now? Toonie Tuesday. You walk into a KFC, you look at a sign like this, and you contemplate whether or not you are the last sane man in the universe.
Okay, where are we at for June here? 28 posts in 30 days? Ahhhhhhh--well, that's disappointing, for Daily Post Month, but I guess it'll have to do. Sorry, folks! I gave it a shot.