Ending the Dollar Store Stigma

By: James Flippin · June 22, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

So Long, Stigma

“The rich stay rich by living like they’re not.” It may be an old saying, but it’s still worth saying. As a new trend shows, it holds true, even today.

Recent data suggests high-earners are increasingly likely to shop at discount stores like Dollar General (DG), Aldi, and Five Below (FIVE).

Historically, there has been a certain stigma around shopping at dollar stores. Since these retailers offer such low prices, it could be easy to write off their products as cheap and low-quality. But, after a year in which the price of some food items spiked by as much as 60%, even America’s wealthiest families are beginning to rethink this attitude.

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According to data collected from InMarket, there was a 4% increase in dollar store visits for those making six figures this year, compared to the second half of 2022.

Additionally, Americans earning $100,000 or more were 15% more likely to say they would shop at a dollar store than they were last June, when inflation sat at a four-decade high. Now, even as overall inflation continues to abate, close to half of all high-earning households consider discount stores when running errands, per daily surveys from Morning Consult.


Regardless how much discretionary cash is at your disposal, a good deal is a good deal. Even if you can afford to pay inflated prices, why spend more, when you could potentially spend less. It’s a question even the highest-earning US households are asking.

Even though post-pandemic inflation may have kicked off the trend, some retailers are betting it is here to stay. Aldi’s growth strategy reportedly involves expanding into affluent areas, and Dollar General cites its recent addition of a fresh-produce section as a means of attracting and retaining wealthy customers.

So, if you’re among the many who’ve written off dollar stores, it could be worth giving them another visit. You may find more BMWs (BMWYY) or Mercedes (MBGYY) parked out front than you would expect.

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