To paraphrase Yogi Berra: a dollar ain’t worth a dime anymore.
Dollar Tree said Wednesday that it would break the buck on certain items and start selling certain items at $1.25 and $1.50, highlighting the pressure rising costs have put on companies to hike their prices. Other items would be priced at slightly above one dollar.
This brings to an end decades in which everything could be had for one dollar in the stores of the Chesapeake, Virginia-based retailer.
“For decades, our customers have enjoyed the ‘thrill-of-the-hunt’ for value at one dollar – and we remain committed to that core proposition – but many are telling us that they also want a broader product assortment when they come to shop,” said CEO Michael Witynski in announcing the change.
Two years ago, the company began testing higher prices in some stores that it called “Dollar Tree Plus.” Items in those stores were offered for as much as five dollars. It had also launched some “combo” stores that were traditional Dollar Tree stores with sections for Dollar Tree Plus items.
“We believe testing additional price points above $1 for Dollar Tree product will enable us over time to expand our assortments, introduce new products and meet more of our customers’ everyday needs,” Witynski said.
Consumer prices were up 5.3 percent in the 12 months preceding August. That is the highest level of inflation since 2008. Many businesses have felt squeezed, although perhaps none as much as one whose premise was linked to charging less than a dollar for everything in the store.
Wall Street applauded the move, pushing shares of the company up by nearly 16 percent on Wednesday.