There is a department store chain in the midwest called ShopKo. They are similar to K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. When I got back into LEGO around 2003, they were the best place to shop. They frequently had 10% off, 20% off, Buy 1 get one 50% off types of sales, and they put older products on clearance.
I don't know if they are struggling against the national chains or what, but over the past few years they've started marking their LEGO above suggested retail price. At first, it wasn't a big deal. A $10 set might be listed for $12, or a $20 set might be listed for $23. That just meant I would wait for a 20% off before buying. Now, however, it has gotten ridiculous.
Case in point: I completely missed wave 1 of the collectible minifigures and had already purchased my allotment of 16 wave 2 figures from Shop@Home. I have never seen these figures in any physical store, not even at Toys R Us while traveling. So, imagine my surprise when I walk into ShopKo and see two display boxes of Wave 2 figures on the shelves!
I just grabbed one of the display boxes and was ready to walk up to the register when the price tags caught my eye: $6 Per Figure! Absolutely ridiculous! That is triple their suggested retail price. No amount of sales and coupons can bring them to a reasonable price point.
Anyway, getting to the point, does anybody else live near a ShopKo? Are they all like this now, or are those prices a symptom of my remote location? I've only been to the Marquette, MI ShopKo store.