A Walmart employee was caught on camera switching the price tag on a salad dressing from $2.24 to $7.88 — that’s over a 350 percent increase.
The viral video was posted by TikTok user @devious_love, whose real name is Shawn Connor. Since it was posted last week, it has received 2.8 million views, with viewers debating the reasons for such an egregious price increase, Newsweek reported.
“That must be the Russian dressing,” the commenter joked, referring to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its European allies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The alleged price increase was attributed to inflation by some users, while others accused Walmart of “price gouging” and “corporate greed.”
The bizarre outcry was dismissed by one viewer, who speculated that the worker was simply changing price tags in order to place different items in the aisle.
“He’s probably making a new planogram and something else is going to go on that shelf,” he wrote.
Bizarre Surge in Price in the U.S.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that the average national price for a gallon of gasoline reached $4.17 on Tuesday after President Joe Biden announced a ban on imports of Russian energy.
It was higher than the previous record high of $4.11 recorded in July 2008 without taking inflation into account.
Fuel prices may cause higher prices to spread across the supply chain, according to the National Grocers Association.
Spike from the Past
Inflation in the United States was rising even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Financial analysts traced the trend to the spring of 2021, when household spending on entertainment, travel, and other experiences grew as pandemic pressures eased.
However, due to pandemic-related disruptions, supply lines were still too busy to meet the pent-up demand, causing prices to rise.
On Thursday, the Labor Department said that consumer prices rose at their fastest rate in decades.
The report said shelter, gasoline, and food contributed most to overall price increases in February.
The Labor Department reports that the cost of household groceries rose 8.6 percent in the last 12 months, the largest increase since April 2018.
Walmart and Connor were not able to respond to Newsweek’s request for more information in time for publication.