The saying that “one should not shoot (or kill) the messenger” while attributed to Sophocles more than 400 years before the birth of Christ, was first penned by William Shakespeare in his famous play, Henry IV. In Part 2, Cleopatra threatens the messenger’s eyes when he reveals that her great love, Marc Antony, has married another. The messenger’s character was written to reply, “gracious madam, I that do bring the news made not the match!”
As Pennsylvania Buck season rolls around again, the shelves still contain far too many empty spots, prices continue to rise, and the general public is more than a little fed up with both. A year and a half ago we were cautioned that “if we all just went home for two weeks, the virus would run it’s course!” Now, I sometimes wonder if it’s going to be with us forever; annual vaccinations, over-worked hospitals and a new mutation every time the last one begins to run out of steam!0
Every Friday I receive a PDF file from our wholesaler called “the Communicator”. In it are the newsy items that impact us weekly; surveys, memos, new items, updates and the like. For the past several months the Communicator has included more than a few letters from manufacturers which inevitably begin, “To Our Valued Customer”, or something similar. “Due to inflation, labor shortages, and general challenges servicing your business, it has become necessary to take the necessary following actions. . . “ This ominous opening line is then followed by price increases, shortages, as well as the announcement that certain items are being removed from their line-up for the foreseeable future! The letter generally ends with the promise to return to “our industry leading service levels” as soon as possible!
In our Deli, we buy a large number of items direct from our wholesaler, but we also utilize several outside venders for things our warehouse doesn’t carry. Every week, when the invoices from these outside vendors come in, I go over them line-by-line and check the pricing compared to what we paid the last time we bought that particular item. This is necessary for when we do our monthly inventories so we know our going in costs! For the past six months or so I’ve noticed a continual increase in pricing. For every 20 items we buy for instance, it is not uncommon that half of them have gone up since the last time they were purchased. Taken by itself, price increases are not unusual but in companies that seemingly never used to have a price increase often holding the line for months at a time, this new uptick is very noticeable and worrisome.
So, heading into December, the final month of the year that was, we are no more certain of an end to the mess our retail world has become. Maybe a couple of weeks of buck hunting will ease the stressful situation we find ourselves still in. At Costa’s Supermarket you’ll find a wide variety of meat processing kits if you’re the kind of hunter that likes to handle his own deer. Keep in mind as the calendar flips over to the final month of 2021, we have gift certificates, fruit baskets and flower arrangements for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list. We can help you take the worry out of gift-giving!