I moved from Houston, TX to Charlotte in November '08. I've been shcoked by the prices in the major grocery stores. Based on my experiences in Houston, it goes beyond gouging, it's almost robbery. Prices are higher by as much as 30% on items ranging from $1.00 to $7.99. I work in sales and I know about setting a very high (unrealistic) regular price so you can have a huge discount, look like a hero to your customers and still make a healthy profit. That seems to be what's going on here. A few examples (regular price to regular price): 12-pack of soda $5.89 (v. $3.99 in TX) Nathan's Franks ($5.19 v. $3.89 in TX), head lettuce $1.89 (v. $1.09 in TX). Knorr Chicken boullion $1.59 (v. $1.09 in TX). I'm comparing H-T, Lowe's, etc. to HEB in Texas, certainly not a discounter. The only times I go to H-T, etc. is for specials. Otherwise, it's off to Target and Wal-Mart. I have to make trips to four different stores every 6-7 days to take care of all my needs, when in the past, it was to one, or maybe two stores. I do a lot of driving just to save on lettuce, but I will not pay these prices. With ridiculously high regular prices and buy-one-get-one specials, I have to think that the only times these items move are when they are on sale. Otherwise, they sit. I can't think vendors are happy with this. Lastly, an observation that there is an oversaturation of stores in the Charlotte area. They seem to be everywhere, and no matter what the day or time, they're never busy. Any thoughts?