If there’s one thing Americans love, it’s doing math. This is why math club always fills up at the start of the school year and why algebra is such a popular elective. This love of math is why we all look forward to tax season so fondly and why “solving for x” has become slang for relaxation.
A few local grocery stores have taken note of this love affair and given us a chance to put it to good use. The Shoppers Value stores in Baton Rouge used to be Piggly Wigglys, but apparently, wiggling pigs weren’t profitable enough. The owner of the stores, Garnett Jones, said back in January that the change was all about moving goods in a higher volume to save customers more.
In case you haven’t visited Shoppers Value, here’s how it works: Everything is priced (in theory) at whatever price the store pays — and you’re then charged an extra 10% at checkout. Which means the only way you can keep an accurate tally of what you’re spending as you shop is to multiply every price you see by 1.1, and then keep those products of your products added up in your head.
We love math. Duh. As I recall, that’s why I was ever so popular in middle school, back when I was on the Mathcounts team.
After all, what better way to make grocery shopping more enjoyable than to include some elementary multiplication and addition? Buying groceries is already a pleasurable pastime we all enjoy — combining it with recreational math just takes a good thing and makes it all the better.
A cynic might say that this entire pricing scheme (which has been around for a while — Jones didn’t invent it for Shoppers Value, and at least the way he does it, nobody is being tricked by misleading verbiage) is just a way to trick people into buying more crap with artificially low prices. However, that cynic would be an un-American, anti-math Luddite.
We love math. Duh. As I recall, that’s why I was ever so popular in middle school, back when I was on the Mathcounts team. All the jocks looked up to me, and the girls would just swoon whenever they’d hear my name.
Or, perhaps that’s revisionist history on my part, and middle school was an endless nightmare I couldn’t wake up from for two years. It’s been a while. I’d do the math, but I don’t feel like it.