Twenty-five cents might not feel like a lot, but it means a whole lot right now - culturally, that is. The dollar-store concept has started down the same slow path that the five and dime did decades ago, as Dollar Tree just announced that they will be raising their prices to $1.25 per item.

For 35 years, Dollar Tree has been, along with Dollar General, one of the most recognizable store names in the US, with more stores than ever opening during the last year thanks to unpredictable growth caused by the pandemic.

"Lifting the one-dollar constraint represents a monumental step for our organization," chief executive Michael Witynski said in a statement. He says the change will give the company "greater flexibility to manage the overall business, especially in a volatile, inflationary environment."

This flexibility includes the ability to manufacture some more popular items that became too expensive to manufacture at the one-dollar cap price. This change apparently actually started over the summer, when executives tested the concept of selling some items for a little over a dollar at "Dollar Tree Plus" stores.

Dollar Tree is not to blame for this, and it would have happened eventually - we were all told that inflation would happen in our lifetimes - but that doesn't change the momentousness of it. Someday our grandchildren will scoff at us when we hand them a dollar and tell them to go get themselves some candy down at the store. The kid'll say, "Grandma, everything worth buying is at least $5 now." You'll laugh, and start the time honored refrain:

 "Back in my day..."