Chicago Stores Lower Prices to Target Consumers on Budgets

Once upon a time, most stores catered to the kind of customer willing to shell out big bucks. Oh, how the tides have changed.

Today more stores are following the dollar store model, selling small-quantity but low-priced items aimed at shoppers on a tight budget, according to the New York Times. By luring a lot of customers who don't want to spend very much cash away from the competition, stores hope to increase their customer base, and thus their profits, despite the economy. It's a move that has both pros and cons for consumers, many of whom are struggling to pay the bills, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

On the one hand, shoppers can save money on basics like shampoo, paper towels and bread, thanks to decreasing prices at discount stores like Wal-Mart and Target - a definite benefit when you're struggling to stretch your paycheck until the end of the month, but still need to pick up a few more supplies. Also, more shopping can be completed in one place - rather than requiring second stops at the grocery store, the drugstore and the dollar store - possibly saving time and gas.

On the other hand, you didn't think retailers were doing this out of the kindness of their hearts, right? As always, they're motivated by their own bottom line. That's fine if you can save money by buying the same products for less. But the problem is, these dollar items are usually so cheap because they come in smaller sizes. Stores know that customers low on funds have no choice but to buy the cheapest item no matter what the value, even if they end up spending more in the long run. They also know that, when faced with many cheap items, customers often choose to buy more than they need because they feel they're getting a bargain - and in the process, end up wasting money. It's why stores put gum, candy and other knickknacks in the checkout line - low prices encourage impulse buys.

Lower prices are helpful, but they don't solve the ultimate problem: that you don't have enough cash flow. You might not be able to finagle a raise right now, but you can increase your income by decreasing debt payments - in other words, by paying down your debt. Think it can't be done? Bankruptcy can help. Find out for free if the right bankruptcy plan can help you reduce or eliminate your debt burden when you try a complimentary one-on-one debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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