2 Surprising Ways Dollar Store Shoppers Have Changed

Two unexpected characteristics are associated with a growing number of dollar-store shoppers.

2 Surprising Ways Dollar Store Shoppers Have Changed Pawel Michalowski / Shutterstock.com

Dollar store customers are getting younger and wealthier.

Over the past few years, more affluent millennials — generally, people born between 1980 and 2000 — have started shopping at dollar stores, Reuters reports.

Among heads of households under age 35 who earn more than $100,000 per year, for example, the share who shop at dollar stores increased by 7.1 percent between 2012 and 2015. That compares with a 3.6 percent increase at all retail stores, Reuters reports, citing Nielsen data.

The factors influencing this trend include:

  • A shaky economy making shoppers more mindful of their household spending.
  • Dollar stores working to change their image of catering to lower-income groups. “Stocking a wider variety of consumables, beauty products and over-the-counter drugs, the interiors of dollar stores now look very much like a Walmart or Target store,” Reuters notes.
  • Dollar stores rapidly expanding in recent years, including in cities and small towns.

The largest dollar-store company, Dollar Tree Inc., operated 13,997 stores across 48 states as of April 30, according to its latest earnings report. It owns both the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar chains.

The second-largest dollar-store company, Dollar General Corp., operated 12,719 stores in 43 states as of April 29, according to its latest earnings report.

To learn more about how you can save money at these stores, check out:

Do you shop at dollar stores? Let us know which chain you prefer and what you most often buy there — leave a comment below or over on our Facebook page.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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