Dollar Store Dilemma

Maintaining Dollar Store Profits & Margins

As I have pointed out a number of times, consumers have to be aware of the latest method that manufacturers are using to either increase or maintain profit margins in an economy with the cost of the raw materials are increasing.

Consumers complain or buy less when they see prices rise. Therefore, nobody in the retail chain from manufacturers to store owners wants to see the final price go up. Still, with increase int the price of raw materials as well as inflation, how do those retailers and product creators keep their profits intact?

One way is to simply make packages smaller, reducing the amount of content in them.

This is a particularly interesting area to look at for those who shop at discount stores known as dollar stores or 99 cent only stores.

If the name and entire retail concept of your store is that everything costs only a dollar, then you can’t raise prices to earn more money and generate more profit. Your only choice then is to shrink the products.

I have noticed that happening continually in dollar stores over the last few years. I’m worried that the standard size of items in dollar stores is about to become what we used to consider travel sizes!

Just as an example, I’ve watched the size of household disinfectant sprays come down incrementally from 12 ounces to the current 8 ounces. That is a 33% decrease in size while the consumer continues to pay the same retail price.

What products have you noticed displaying this trend?

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time On TV & In Literature

Network prime time television is suddenly all about fairy tales this fall with two fairy-tale based series premiering in the same week. Once Upon A Time is on ABC and Grimm is on NBC. Just the fact that these show are on TV will mean an increase in books and movies with fairy take themes. If these two shows are successful, then we should see more like them in the future because, as the saying goes, “In Hollywood, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Since I saw the pilot episode of Once Upon A Time the other day, it made me think that now is a good time to write about my own children’s book told in rhyme which came out earlier this year. It’s called Joyce of Westerfloyce – The Story of the Tiny Little Girl with the Tiny Little Voice.

There are lots of extras included in the ebook such as parent/teacher/discussion questions, vocabulary words, and activities to accompany the reading.

Here are the opening paragraphs of the story:

Once upon a time
In a village called Westerfloyce
There lived a tiny little girl
With a tiny little voice

She had a dainty blue dress
Which she wore by choice
She was always quite happy
So she earned the name of Joyce

Her skin was so soft
Her disposition calm and fair
Pretty pink ribbons
Adorned her long, golden hair

They assumed she had
Not a single vice
Made entirely of sugar
Sweetness and spice

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

They assumed wrong!

Find out Joyce’s big secret.

Read more about this children’s ebook on the author website.

Get this children’s ebook right now on Amazon.

Bird Seed Prices

Price Of Bird Seed

I’ve written before about the disturbing trend in the consumer arena of prices going up while sizes of containers keep going down. (See the entries on the smaller ice cream containers and the tricky ice cream advertising.)

Since that time, I’ve noticed that this unfortunate trend has been continuing, sometimes in the most unlikely of places. The other day, I went to a home improvement store and actually noticed this occurring with the packages of bird seed!

A particular brand was available in 20 pound and 40 pound packages. The price stickers on the shelf indicated this. As you would expect, the larger package of the bird seed cost more than the smaller package, but it was cheaper per unit price when you figured out the cost per pound.

Then I looked more closely at the larger, supposedly 40 pound package…and noticed that the bird seed manufacturer had reduced the size of the package down to only 35 pounds. That meant that the price sticker on the shelf was no longer accurate. The item number had also changed.

I went to the service desk and had them scan the item. It turned out that the price of the new 35 pound bird seed bag was the same as the old 40 pound size. So – same price for smaller package = less contents for the same cost. Where have we heard that before?

Halloween Movies For Kids

Kids Halloween Party DVD

Are you looking for Halloween movies for children? Here’s an idea that is sure to please both children and adults – a double DVD pack that includes Scared Shrekless and Monsters Vs Pumpkins Halloween.

Kids will enjoy the animation and cute Halloween stories while adults will enjoy the parodies and references to classic Halloween films.

Here’s the preview trailer. Don’t miss the Shrek-version parody of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

If you’ve seen the main specials before on TV, now you can watch them anytime without checking the TV listings or without dealing with commercials if you were going to record them yourself. Of course, DVD’s always include something extra too.

Here is the text link to get the DreamWorks Halloween Double Pack (Scared Shrekless / Monsters Vs Pumpkins Halloween) on Amazon.