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5 things: The great grocery pricing fatigue

Here’s 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Breaking the bank: The rate of inflation may be abating in some areas, but prices themselves are still rising in many cases, as is consumer skepticism and fatigue. Altogether, according to new research, shoppers don’t feel they’re getting the value they once did — a point that’s leaving many feeling angry and frustrated. The Wall Street Journal has a graphic here that breaks down prices on some key products — both from 2020 and the comparable prices today. It’s not a fun graph. The average cost of paper towels in 2020 was $5.76, now it’s $8.22. Deodorant used to cost $4.68…try $7.43 today, yikes. It’s not just your pits that stink. —Chloe Riley

Back for more: Before you do something you’ll regret, like blow $24.99 on an eBay purchase of one of those Trader Joe’s mini tote bags, rest assured that the retailer is now planning on replenishing inventory of the $2.99 cuties. Inside Trader Joe’s podcast host Matt Sloan said thousands of the mini tote bags are currently being constructed and will be at stores by late summer. Trader Joe’s is going big this time, producing enough to last several weeks, according to Sloan. The bags come in four colors (green, red, yellow, and blue) and some are comparing the overwhelming need to how shoppers went bonkers over Stanley cups during the holiday season. Wait, so you’re telling me grown adults are acting like hyped-up teenagers over these bags? Lord, help us.  —Bill Wilson

Walmart creating compassion: Walmart and Sam’s Club store managers manage hundreds of workers, and their ability to drive sales can have a direct effect on the company’s revenue, which totaled $648.1 billion last year worldwide. But it’s not just about the money: Walmart says management style matters, as well. Enter “Manager Academy.” Most weeks, Walmart flies a group of 50 from across the country — with 2,200 expected this year — to the ongoing training, where trainers highlight the message that Walmart’s success truly comes about when store managers take care of everyone in their purview. Including their workers, customers, and the very community in which they operate. How can you not be on board? —CR

Eclipse shopping at Hy-Vee? Totally! The upcoming April 8 total solar eclipse will be visible from much of North America, and watch parties galore are in the works. Hy-Vee, which has several stores in the so-called “path of totality,” is already all-in, including one store in Missouri that has created a special display offering eclipse-themed merchandise. In addition to eclipse viewing glasses, the display includes snacks such as Moon Pies and “space-themed” candy, along with “space-scented” candles from local candle maker Lebanon Candle Co. (Scents include Haley’s Comet, Stargazing, Milky Way, and others). “We’ve got everything you could possibly need for an eclipse party,” Brandon Walker, a Hy-Vee assistant manager, tells All Hy-Vee stores are offering the eclipse viewing glasses, a spokeswoman for the chain told Supermarket News, but the displays vary by location. Any excuse to eat Moon Pies works for me. —Mark Hamstra

Mark their words: Say it in a note, then take it to the streets. A Dollar General store in Mineral Point, Wis., was left without any employees after they all walked out, forcing the store to close. The disgruntled workers left several notes taped to glass doors. One of them read: “The store is closed. The whole team has walked away due to a lack of appreciation, being overworked and underpaid.” Another sign read “We quit!” and thanked shoppers. But perhaps the one note that explained it all said “We will not work for a company that does not stand behind in true honest form of what they want the world to see them as…we must take a stand for the community and not allow corporate greed to continue preventing people in need of help they need and could receive. Policies, processes and procedures need to change!” In an emailed statement to Supermarket News, Dollar General said it was committed to providing an environment where employees can grow their careers and where they feel valued and heard. The company added that the store reopened at 11 a.m. the next day. —BW

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