New York (CNN) Eggs have become too expensive for the dollar tree.
Dollar tree (DLTR)which sells most items for $1.25 and a small selection for $3 or $5, will stop selling eggs in stores because the company can’t make money by offering them at flat prices.
Egg prices have risen sharply due to shortages caused by the deadly bird flu, high production costs and egg producers increasing their own profits.
Egg prices rose 38% year-on-year for producers in February and 55% for buyers, although eggs are starting to get cheaper. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of a dozen Class A large eggs was $4.21 in February.
Most retailers have raised prices on customers’ eggs to adjust to higher costs, but Dollar Tree can’t raise prices as much.
“Our preferred price point at Dollar Tree is $1.25. The price of eggs is very high right now,” said a company spokesperson. Randy Guiller. Dollar Tree, which has about 9,000 U.S. stores, will bring back the eggs when “costs are more in line with historical levels.”
But it probably won’t be in time for the main egg-raising holiday, Easter, which falls on April 9 this year.
Reuters first reported that Dollar Tree would stop selling eggs. Dollar Tree-owned Family Dollar continues to sell eggs.
On a tight budget, shoppers have increasingly turned to dollar stores for food.
The three largest chains, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar General, have expanded in recent years, adding more staple food items, though fresh and healthy options are limited. According to a study published this year by Tufts University, dollar stores are the fastest growing grocery stores in America.
Dollar Tree sold cartons of eight or six eggs for $1. In 2021, Dollar Tree announced it would raise prices to $1.25 because selling everything for $1 was squeezing business.
Dollar Tree also decided to pull the eggs because of its lean staffing model in stores, said David D’Arezzo, a former executive at Dollar General and other retailers who now works as an industry consultant. He said workers changing price tags on eggs every week due to wild swings in the market would put a strain on stores’ operations.
The chain serves low- and middle-income customers and doesn’t want to offer eggs at sticker-shock prices to damage its price reputation among shoppers, D’Arezzo said.