CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Higher prices caused by global supply chain disruptions and inflation are driving more people to shop at dollar stores.
Dollar General has reported huge gains over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. CEO Todd Vasos previously said Dollar General's core consumer had a household income of about $40,000 or less. Now, more higher-income shoppers are becoming regular at the popular bargain stores.
Those customers include people making $60,000 a year or more. Five Below and Dollar Tree have reported similar trends during the pandemic. They've teamed up with Instacart to cater to those higher-income shoppers who may prefer to have their items delivered.
WCNC Charlotte's Defenders found that stores promising good deals really do deliver. A recent study from Consumer Reports compared prices at both dollar stores and big-name grocery stores, and the results were clear: Dollar stores are cheaper.
Brian Vines, the author of the article for Consumer Reports, said the only drawback for shoppers at dollar stores is selection. In the dollar store model, selection can be a bit shallow compared to major grocery chains, which offer more name brands.
WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Earlier this year, Dollar Tree announced it would be raising its prices above the $1 mark for the first time by early 2022. The company said the decision "is permanent and is not a reaction to short-term or transitory market conditions."
For decades the company has stuck to its "Everything's $1" mantra. But Dollar Tree said the slightly higher prices will let it introduce new products and bring back some "customer favorites and key traffic-driving products" that were previously discontinued because of the $1.00 price point.
The $1.25 price point will be rolled out to more than 2,000 Dollar Tree stores in December.
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