It's the end of an era for grocery stores in Michigan. After 30 years, a new pricing law takes effect Thursday that's sure to change the way you shop.Stores are no longer required to place individual price labels on items. Instead, shelves will be labeled with items' prices. Stores do have the option of continuing item pricing, but officials from stores WSBT talked to said it will save them money in the long run to get rid of labels altogether.
As some consumers brace themselves for the confusion, store managers WSBT interviewed said it's a welcome change.
From beans to bleach, pasta to potatoes, "there won't be individual prices on stuff," said Troy Gano, a manager at Roger’s Foodland in St. Joseph.
"It’s not going to make a difference to me at all, things are well marked," said grocery shopper Jim Phillips.
Amy Sievert likes to calculate her bill as she shops. Now she'll have to rely on shelf prices being accurate. "I don't think it’s the easiest way for the consumer. You have to buy groceries so you deal with it," Sievert said.
Sievert likes to calculate her bill as she shops but she won't have that luxury anymore. "I think that’s frustrating because things gets misplaced very often," Sievert said.
Roger’s Foodland shares a bit of this burden.
"Instead of having to worry about pricing every single item, you have to more worry about pricing on the shelf," Gano said.
But mostly, store officials said the change is a win-win for operations.
CHANGE MAKES 'CENTS' FOR STORES
"Productivity increases and it reduces our stock time," Gano said. Stock time will be cut in half for Gano's staff. So will his workforce be cut in half?
“We won’t be cutting any hours," Gano said. That’s a sigh of relief for employees.
Gano understands the immediate inconvenience for shoppers such as Sievert, who's not welcoming the change.
"I believe it will upset some people, but for the most part, it will help overall," Gano said.
ASSOCIATIONS SAY YES, NO TO CHANGE
The Michigan Grocers Association and Michigan Retailers Association backed the new law, but not everyone was on board.
The Michigan State AFL-CIO told WSBT the current law, where every item is priced, provided consumer protection. Now the AFL-CIO worries the new law might cause over-charging.
But there are penalties for stores which knowingly overcharge and penalties for stores, even if it's a mistake.
The new item pricing law, passed by the Michigan legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder earlier this year, replaces a 1978 law which required individual item pricing.