Dollar Store Popularity Soars

By: James Flippin · May 23, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dollar Brand Names

Dollar stores are growing in popularity at a rapid pace as Americans seek more ways to stretch budgets. Many of America’s biggest brands have taken notice of this trend and are working to get their products on dollar store shelves.

A few examples of popular items you might be able to find at a dollar store include Lunchables (KHC), Dunkin’ Coffee (SJM), and Oikos Greek Yogurt (GPDNF).

As dollar stores become more popular, you’ll likely start seeing more familiar products pop up on their shelves. But you might notice the money you spend multiplying too.

Growing Popularity

In 2021, roughly half of all new stores that opened were dollar stores. According to industry experts, this is unparalleled growth — some of the fastest ever recorded in the retail industry.

There were approximately 34,000 dollar stores in America last year, including chains like Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Family Dollar. This means dollar stores outnumber the total number of McDonald’s (MCD), Starbucks (SBUX), Target (TGT), and Walmart (WMT) locations in the US combined.

Dollar Store Downsides

Dollar store chains are heralded for offering low prices even as inflation remains high. But not everyone wants them around.

One of the main critiques is that, while dollar stores may offer lower prices, they don’t actually save you money. Goods are often packaged in smaller quantities to justify the lower price tags. While it may feel like you saved money at checkout, you’re often actually paying more per unit than you would at Target or Walmart.

Others claim dollar stores undercut other businesses, especially grocery stores. They arguably hurt customers as well, by offering only low-quality, unhealthy food options. In fact, many cities have moved to restrict new dollar stores from opening.

Shopping at dollar stores can still be a great way to save cash on certain products — even brand names. But like with most other things, they’re probably better utilized in moderation than in the extreme.

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