retail news in context, analysis with attitude

In Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports on the growing, recession-fueled appeal of so-called salvage grocers, who sell food that comes in dented cans, crushed boxes and with expiration dates that have, well, expired. “People who frequent salvage stores do the bulk of their food shopping at traditional grocers, where dairy and produce are more plentiful and there is lots of variety for everything else,” the paper writes. “A trip to the salvage grocer, they say, is more like a treasure hunt — what's available one week may not be the next time around.”

As the economy has gotten worse, traffic at such retailers has increased … which has led, perhaps inevitably, to increased prices as these grocers see a way to improve their margins. Their costs, of course, are low – they don't have much labor to pay for and their physical plants tend not to be prepossessing.

The Star Tribune says there currently are hundreds of salvage grocers operating in more than three-dozen states.
KC's View:
I know some people think I am overreacting to this, but it concerns me that in a time when there have been more food safety problems than ever, there is growth taking place in a marketplace selling food that may be past its sell-by date.