Dollar Stores Are Growing At Record Rates

By Rick Gonzales | 1 month ago

dollar tree dollar stores

While retailers across the nation continue to languish in COVID pandemically-related strife, there is one portion of the retail market that is not only thriving, but they are thriving in record numbers. Dollar stores across the country have seen a massive boost in their physical store footprint as they are now totaling close to 35,000 stores.

It seems like everywhere you turn, there is a dollar store. That is the good news for shoppers. The even better news is that shoppers should prepare themselves for even more dollar stores in the near future. The popular dollar store chains across the U.S. are Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, 99 Cents Only, and Five Below. The biggest of these – Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar General – lead the way and look to represent nearly half of all the new store openings.

Dollar General is the big builder at the moment having opened 1,000 new stores in 2020. When all is said and done in 2021, they look to have added another 1,050 to their arsenal. Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, put together nearly 500 stores last year and by the end of 2021, they look to have added an additional 600.

Coresight Research is a firm that tracks store openings and closures in the United States. They recently reported that almost 3,300 stores of any type (not necessarily dollar stores) opened in 2020. Their estimation was that 4,000 would open this year. Of those 7,300 stores to open in a two-year time span, 3,150 are dollar stores. This is a robust 43% of the cumulative new store openings.

These numbers, on their own, are very impressive, but given the state of the country and the economy, they are downright amazing. But this unprecedented growth has not come without its fair share of criticism. Those who speak out against the influx of dollar stores point to these stores opening in the poorer communities. It is said they do this to specifically prey on low-income shoppers. Therein lies the complaint which stems from these stores limiting the access residents of poorer communities access to fresh produce. Another criticism of all these dollar stores is that they are bad for neighborhoods in which they open because their sharply reduced prices could cause local shops or supermarkets to go out of business.

dollar general

It appears, though, consumers aren’t worried. They are looking more at the final bill total than anything else and keeping prices within their budget is what these dollar stores are all about. They have begun to add more food and drink options making them a very attractive shopping alternative to the big box grocery stores. They are even more attractive than finding food on Amazon Fresh.

Either way you look at these discount stores, they are here and only growing. In fact, so impressive are their numbers that their nearly 35,000 stores are more than Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Costco, Aldi, and Kroger combined.

To make matters better for the stores (or worse depending on how you look at it) some of these stores are changing parts of their retail concepts. While many of these “dollar” stores are keeping their prices at that set limit, others are beginning to feel the pinch of inflation, and are adjusting on the fly.

One of the new concepts to come from this is Dollar General’s “Popshelf.” It is described as a “fun, on-trend” version of the dollar store, but geared for those with deeper pockets. Dollar Tree is combining itself with Family Dollar to make combo stores. So far there are over 100 locations with Dollar Tree keeping most prices at the $1 threshold while Family Dollar is offering items that are priced slightly higher.

Given the state of our country, many analysts agree that dollar store growth will continue. Expansion, new retail concepts, and continued low prices. It’s good for America’s economy at present and will certainly continue to be for the foreseeable future.