In this file:

 

·         Why Dollar Stores Are Thriving

Consumers like a good bargain

 

·         Dollar Stores Are Taking Over the Grocery Business, and It’s Bad News for Public Health and Local Economies

A new report shows growth of dollar stores in low-income and rural communities furthers inequity and pushes out local businesses.

 

 

Why Dollar Stores Are Thriving

Consumers like a good bargain

 

by Lucy Koch, eMarketer

Jan 4, 2019

 

Declining mall foot traffic and competition from direct-to-consumer brands and private-label offerings have hurt mid-tier merchants like Toys “R” Us and Sears. But discount retailers like dollar stores are flourishing.

 

Today, nearly 30,000 dollar stores exist nationwide, exceeding Walmart and Starbucks, combined. This is up from 20,000 locations in 2011 according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

 

Last year, Dollar General opened 900 stores, while Dollar Tree (which includes Family Dollar chains) opened 276, per November 2018 data from Coresight Research.

 

In 2019, Dollar Tree will renovate a minimum of 1,000 Family Dollar stores and open an additional 550 locations. Dollar Tree's new stores will be located in predominantly suburban areas, while Family Dollar stores will proliferate in more urban locations.

 

Meanwhile, Dollar General plans to open roughly 975 new locations in 2019, surpassing the 900 stores they launched in 2018. The company’s specific success stems from their vast location penetration into lower-income cities and rural towns.

 

Today, most Dollar General stores exist in places with populations of fewer than 20,000 residents, miles away from grocery stores or big-box retailers. Dollar General executives also publicly described their core customers as households making less than $35,000, but estimated that nearly three-quarters of the US population live within five miles of one of their stores.

 

Dollar stores are thriving because, even in today's growing economy, people still exhibit recession-influenced shopping tendencies. According to eMarketer’s retail analyst, Andrew Lipsman, “consumer confidence is actually at a high right now, but since the recession, people have developed and ingrained a lot of bargain-shopping behaviors that aren’t going away—at least for certain types of goods.”

 

Indeed, households in the $20,000 to $39,000 and $100,000-plus ranges account for equal (21% apiece) shares of dollar store consumers, according to an Inmar study from July 2018.

 

However, while the economy overall improves, gains have not been shared equally by upper- and lower-income households. "And greater numbers of low-income households that continue to struggle to make ends meet make for a sizable customer base for dollar stores,” Lipsman said.

 

With widening income disparities, it’s not surprising that dollar stores feed more people in the US than grocers like Whole Foods. According to private market data from China Store Guide, grocery sales at Dollar General and Dollar Tree neared $24 billion in 2018, compared with Whole Foods’ roughly $15 billion.

 

The increase in grocery sales can also be attributed to dollar stores’ efforts to provide a greater diversity of goods to their consumers—specifically lower-income customers. According to Dollar Tree CEO, Gary Philbin, the company implemented Snack Zones—a snack section that includes nuts, crackers, chips, granola and cereal bars and apple sauce, among others—in more than 800 stores in 2018, and will continue this expansion in 2019.

 

Similarly, Dollar General introduced healthier food options...

 

more, including links 

https://www.emarketer.com/content/why-the-american-dollar-store-is-thriving

 

 

Dollar Stores Are Taking Over the Grocery Business, and It’s Bad News for Public Health and Local Economies

A new report shows growth of dollar stores in low-income and rural communities furthers inequity and pushes out local businesses.

 

By Claire Kelloway, Civil Eats

Dec 17, 2019

 

Today, there are more dollar stores in the United States than all Walmarts and Starbucks combined. These low-priced “small-box” retailers, like Dollar General, offer little to no fresh food—yet they feed more Americans than either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, and are gaining on the country’s largest food retailers.

 

Detailing the explosion of dollar stores in rural and low-income areas, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) recently released a report that shows how these retailers exacerbate economic and public health disparities. The report makes the case that dollar stores undercut small rural grocers and hurt struggling urban neighborhoods by staving off full-service markets.

 

ILSR also argues that the proliferation of dollar stores is the latest outgrowth of an increasingly concentrated grocery sector, where the top four chains—Walmart, Kroger, Ahold-Delhaize, and Albertsons—sell 44 percent of all groceries, and Walmart alone commands a quarter of the market. These dominant chain stores have decimated independent retailers and divested from rural and low-income areas, as well as communities of color.

 

“Earlier trends in big box store [growth] are making this opening for dollar stores to enter,” says Marie Donahue, one of the report’s authors. “We’re seeing a widening gap of inequality that’s a result of wealth being extracted from communities and into corporate headquarters… Dollar stores are really concentrating in communities hit hardest by the consequences of economic concentration.”

 

“Before this report, I had no idea that dollar stores were proliferating in this way,” says Dr. Kristine Madsen, Faculty Director of the Berkeley Food Institute. But, she adds, “it doesn’t surprise me that these incredibly cheap stores may be the only choice for people [who] may be choosing between medicine and rent and food.”

 

Dollar General did not respond to a request to comment for this article.

 

Profiting Off Customers in “Food Deserts” ...

 

Undercutting Independent Grocery Stores ...

 

The Benefit of—and Fight for—Small, Local Stores ... 

 

more, including links

https://civileats.com/2018/12/17/dollar-stores-are-taking-over-the-grocery-business-and-its-bad-news-for-public-health-and-local-economies/