This morning I was shopping in a local “big box” store where I often go when my family needs items beyond what the local grocery store offers. You know, like underwear. So I’m at the checkout with my basket of 1/2 price Halloween decorations, juice boxes and aforementioned unmentionables and I notice that over to the side of the floor, by the end of the cash registers, there appeared to be some sort of a staff meeting between the store management and employees. Now, it should be mentioned here that I wasn’t eavesdropping or being particularly nosy, but the man in charge of this meeting was speaking very loudly in excitement about something and it was pretty obvious this was a pep rally disguised as a staff meeting.
The manager leading the meeting/pep rally had various items that were for sale in the store, and he proceeded to hold up each one and tell the staff gathered around him what the markup was.
“These legwarmers? Perfect for kids for Christmas! Only $6.95 and they have a markup of 62.8%, so let’s sell lots of these!”
Fortunately for me, the lineup I was in was moving incredibly slowly (I’m guessing because almost all of the cashiers were at the staff meeting/pep rally) so I had time to whip out my phone and use the calculator on it to decipher what he just said. The upshot is that anybody buying the legwarmers was making a major-ass contribution to this guy’s salary.
Now, that being said, sadly the truth is that I probably won’t stop shopping at that store, or at any other big store I usually shop at for my family. What I am going to do though, is make a bit of a conscious effort to perhaps change some of the shopping choices I make. For example, if I’m Christmas shopping and I want to spend $10 on someone, I might think about going to a local craft fair, where I know that $10 is going straight to the person who put their time and effort into making something unique and original. Plus that way I’m supporting my local community, which is always a good thing, yes? Yes.
Just some food for thought. Sometimes convenient is expensive, even if it’s disguised as something on sale.