Inflation outrage: Even as prices stabilize, Walmart, Chipotle and others feel the heat from skeptical customers

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Business

Courtesy: WalmartWhen Walmart announced earlier this summer that it would add digital shelf labels to more of its stores, the discounter said the move would cut another tedious task from store workers’ to-do lists.Customers didn’t necessarily see it that way. On TikTok, some criticized the higher-tech price tags as the first step toward the nation’s largest retailer using dynamic pricing, the practice of raising and lowering prices based on demand, similar to Uber’s surge pricing.A Walmart spokesperson said the company won’t use the technology for dynamic pricing now or in the future.Still, the retail giant joined a growing list of companies contending with consumers’ deep frustration over high prices — and wariness that prices will only rise more. Many retailers, restaurants and other consumer companies have seen sales fall as shoppers pull back their spending. Businesses are now trying to convince customers that they offer the best deals, fueling a rise in discounts, promotions and value meals.Consumers are fed up with deceptive pricing, said Jean-Pierre Dubé, a professor of marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. They’ve seen smaller items on shelves, paid tacked-on fees and felt pressure to tip workers for things they didn’t tip for in the past.”We’re reaching a boiling point on this,” he said.The companies stocking grocery aisles contend consumer perception is skewed. Grocery prices have risen just 1% in the past year, which is back to pre-pandemic levels. Consumers’ buying power has also increased as inflation cools and the job market remains strong, boosting real hourly earnings for the average private sector worker, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.Other key costs are raising Americans’ expenses, such as electricity and rent, which have climbed over the last 12 months.”People experience the price of consumer products constantly, and that does tend to be a focus of what they c …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnCourtesy: WalmartWhen Walmart announced earlier this summer that it would add digital shelf labels to more of its stores, the discounter said the move would cut another tedious task from store workers’ to-do lists.Customers didn’t necessarily see it that way. On TikTok, some criticized the higher-tech price tags as the first step toward the nation’s largest retailer using dynamic pricing, the practice of raising and lowering prices based on demand, similar to Uber’s surge pricing.A Walmart spokesperson said the company won’t use the technology for dynamic pricing now or in the future.Still, the retail giant joined a growing list of companies contending with consumers’ deep frustration over high prices — and wariness that prices will only rise more. Many retailers, restaurants and other consumer companies have seen sales fall as shoppers pull back their spending. Businesses are now trying to convince customers that they offer the best deals, fueling a rise in discounts, promotions and value meals.Consumers are fed up with deceptive pricing, said Jean-Pierre Dubé, a professor of marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. They’ve seen smaller items on shelves, paid tacked-on fees and felt pressure to tip workers for things they didn’t tip for in the past.”We’re reaching a boiling point on this,” he said.The companies stocking grocery aisles contend consumer perception is skewed. Grocery prices have risen just 1% in the past year, which is back to pre-pandemic levels. Consumers’ buying power has also increased as inflation cools and the job market remains strong, boosting real hourly earnings for the average private sector worker, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.Other key costs are raising Americans’ expenses, such as electricity and rent, which have climbed over the last 12 months.”People experience the price of consumer products constantly, and that does tend to be a focus of what they c …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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