Minimum wage went up again. Most vendor costs have gone up. Insurance up. Advertising up. Shoplifting is also up. Sales are down.
I got an order of paper bags a few weeks ago: not only had the price gone up, but the quality had gone down; we have to be very careful about what we put in them because they tear so easily.
My store needs new product and re-merchandising, the aspect of my business I used to love, but now dread. Four years of worrying over steadily shrinking margins have sapped my enthusiasm.
Given the hours I work, I barely make minimum wage anymore. Luckily, I live alone. I recently heard that, given all the various benefits, the average welfare recipient "makes" over $50,000 a year--I feel like such a dope.