Dollar Stores’ Performance Stands Out in Tough Retail Environment

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NEW YORK—In what many analysts are calling a record year for U.S. retail store closures, dollar stores appear to be doing great, according to recent analysis of the sector by eMarketer. “Not only are major players opening a significant number of new locations, but more consumers are regularly shopping for groceries at dollar stores than any other time in the past five years,” the report noted. “But dollar stores, which have been praised as survivors of the ongoing retail apocalypse, could face new pressure from Amazon come 2020.”

According to data compiled by Coresight Research, the top three U.S. retailers with the most store openings in the January-April period of 2019 were all dollar stores. Collectively, Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar opened more than 1,500 new locations.

Note, though, that while Dollar Tree Inc.—which owns both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar—announced the closing of several hundred Family Dollar locations set for 2019, the combined opening of more than 500 new locations helped offset the loss. Dollar General Corp., which is Dollar Tree Inc.’s main competitor, has an even more aggressive growth plan, opening close to 1,000 new locations in the first four months of 2019, Coresight Research reported.

On the flip side, conventional and specialty retailers such as Payless ShoeSource, Gymboree and Charlotte Russe lead the way in terms of the most stores shuttered in the January-April period of 2019.

Dollar stores are by far the most dominant value-store category in the US when it comes to quantity. With well over 30,000 combined locations, the number of Dollar Generals and Dollar Trees dwarfs those of wholesale retailers like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s, according to Coresight Research.