Everyday items, from grocery staples to home décor, are being priced more like airline tickets and gasoline, where the sticker prices can move frequently within hours or days.

Retailers say the price moves are in response to rising production, labor and shipping costs, and continuing product shortages associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The price changes are happening online as well as offline, especially among smaller retailers that have been wary of spending on pricey technology or frustrating customers, according to executives and analysts.

“There have been more times than not where we’re almost just breaking even on products because of failure to be able to update the pricing,” said Jeff Wachenfeld, who manages two True Value hardware stores on New York’s Long Island.


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