Buying products are your local dollar store is creating food deserts, putting competitors out of business, and making you spend more money.
They are everywhere: 75% of Americans in population-dense regions live within five miles of a dollar store.
Here are five reasons why shopping at dollar stores isn’t worth it.
Some items are cheap because the packages are smaller
Some products at the dollar store are cheap or look like a bargain for a deceptively simple reason. The dollar store offers low prices on many products because the volume size is smaller.
You are not saving money via a discount or sale in this manner. You are just paying less because the product package size is smaller.
And dollar stores are set for maximum profit, not at random. You may be paying more by buying multiple smaller items at the dollar store when the same full-sized item is cheaper at a competitor.
Most dollar store items aren’t $1
Most of the products sold in dollar stores are $1.25 or higher. You will find a pricing tier system in dollar stores for single-use and small-sized items priced at $1 at the bottom of the system.
It just wasn’t profitable for dollar stores to maintain $1 prices on most items. Inflation, supply chain infrastructure issues, and labor market changes are also contributing factors to price increases.
Dollar stores create food deserts
There are more dollar store physical locations in the United States than Starbucks, Walmart, Costco, and McDonald’s combined. There are more than 32,000 retail stores operated by either Dollar General or Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, which are both subsidiaries of the same corporate parent.
Availability means people are more likely to patronize a dollar store instead of the traditional supermarket with healthier food options. And dollar stores generally do not offer healthy food options.
And when local supermarkets close the food desert problem gets worse. Now, people have to spend more money to travel farther to buy healthier food. It’s then easier to shop at the dollar store for people on tight budgets.
Dollar stores are aesthetically unpleasant
Dollar stores make money by having employees multitask responsibilities. So, one employee may have to perform the duties of the cashier, cleaning staff, security, and so on.
It is no accident that dollar stores look disheveled when you walk in. Their business plan priority is making the sale. Even high-income shoppers flock to dollar stores for perceived deals.
So, don’t expect your local dollar store to be aesthetically welcoming as a corporate retailer anytime soon.
They are hard to compete against
Your local McDonald’s or Starbucks probably won’t go out of business because a dollar store is nearby.
But your local independent supermarket or store probably will. Every time you patronize a dollar store, you are more likely to put a local independent food retailer out of business.