Just yesterday, I was grocery shopping with the wife
We’re usually pretty relaxed with prices and we don’t mind paying a little higher for convenience, and also to be able to get all our groceries in one place rather than going to separate places for different things. All in all, we pride ourselves for being pretty decent patrons of a business and not so calculative when it comes to costs. Sometimes we’re suckers for good deals and even buy things that we don’t actually need but hey, it makes us (especially the wife) happy, and I see no harm in that.
But yesterday, yesterday was the first time I’ve ever felt a pinch buying groceries. For those who know me, my favourite all time drink since childhood is Malta. I’ve been drinking Malta since it was RM1.35 a bottle. Throughout the years, I’ve watched its price increase from RM1.35 to RM2.50 today. The increase was gradual, a few cents at a time, and I’m cool with it. I’ve even bought Malta at RM4 per bottle from 7-Eleven, not an issue since I was craving for it. But yesterday, I realised my Malta jumped from RM2.50 to RM3.10 at that particular grocer. That’s a freaking 24% increase! What kind of business increases their prices like this?! I was pissed, but I also did not know whether the increase came from the manufacturer, the distributor, or the grocer themselves. I even tried to go online to Google for information on the overall prices of goods in Malaysia so I could blame the government but all I got was information that brought me around in circles
That’s not the only case. I used to like going to this small Japanese food stall and eating their salmon don. It used to be RM9.90 per bowl. I didn’t mind, I usually even top up another RM4.50 for gyozas cause why not? But overnight, the price for the salmon don went from RM9.90 to RM15.80. That’s a whopping 60% increase! No extra salmon, no extra rice, no free gyoza or green tea, nothing. Guess who lost a customer?
I also found out yesterday that the price of a marketing tool I used was increased by around 40% – 50% too. That pissed off quite a few people, who voiced their dissatisfaction pretty openly. The excuse given by that company was that they haven’t adjusted their prices in 5 years and the tool was nowhere near the same thing when it started. Pretty bad move in my opinion, no matter how good the tool was
I get it, I really do. Costs are rising, the ringgit is devaluing, the economy is in the gutters. Businesses need to raise prices to survive, and there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I am in agreement of a business periodically raising their prices and reaping the rewards of doing so, such as being able to better serve a smaller pool of customers who really value their products or services, and having the additional funds to be redistributed into the business and improve themselves.
But why in the world would you raise prices significantly in such a short period of time? I’ve been thinking hard why a business would do so but I couldn’t find the logic in that. Are their customer base so loyal that they would accept such a sharp increase in price? Were they prepared to lose 30% of their customers? Or is it simply bad management decisions?
Either way, not cool man, not cool
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you if you have similar experiences or can enlighten me on why businesses choose to increase their prices so significantly!