99 Cents Only (NDN) decided a rose by any other name wouldn’t smell as sweet. So as high fuel costs and rampant inflation took hold at the 262-store retail chain, the company raised its maximum price by less than a penny…to 99.99 cents. This is delighting shoppers who were fearing much worse (LA Times):
Shoppers were elated to find the price hike amounted to less than a penny. Forest Thurman, who was buying produce Monday at a 99 Cents Only store in Los Angeles, said he had been worried that prices would be raised to $1.49 or more.
“That’s it? Whew! That’s a relief,” said Thurman, 33, as he high-fived another customer. “I was expecting a lot more. They had consumers on edge.”
The recent decline in commodity prices likely allowed NDN to keep its price increase to a minimum–at least for now. Also, it’s possible 99 Cents Only was just using the media to get its name out there. The publicity NDN received as it wrung its hands over rising price preasures was significant as it became the posterboy for a post-$100 oil, inflationary world. And now it’s a hero for finding a solution that preserved their name and “value.” (Selling a half-dozen eggs for about half the price of a dozen doesn’t make them cheaper).
Now 99 had better hope inflation stays in check and $150 oil was an abberation. Otherwise, unlike their name, their bottom line won’t be preserved.
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