Thanks for Visiting!

Register for free to get the full story.

Sign Up
Already have a account? Log In

2023: The Year of the Discount Store

Bracha Arnold
February 22, 2023
2023: The Year of the Discount Store

Discount and dollar stores thrived during the pandemic, with the category gaining popularity with a wider shopper base. As inflation concerns persist, discount and dollar stores are positioned to capture an even larger share of the market. 

The Big Discount Picture

Four players that dominate the discount and dollar store space – Dollar Tree, Family Dollar (owned by parent company Dollar Tree), Dollar General, and Five Below – were among the biggest foot traffic winners throughout the pandemic and 2022. 

Comparing the foot traffic for the segment to a pre-pandemic baseline of January 2020 highlights the strength of the sector. Visit growth to discount & dollar stores consistently outpacing other similar categories that were similarly considered essential businesses retail categories during the pandemic, including grocery stores, drugstores, and superstores. 

Year-over-Year Visits Indicate Strength 

Most discount and dollar brands continued growing last year, with visits most months of 2022 outpacing those of 2021. And while some chains saw slight dips in foot traffic during the second half of the year, framed within the context of an unusually strong 2021, these gaps only highlight how resilient dollar stores are.

Five Below and Family Dollar showed steady increases in customer foot traffic in all months analyzed. Dollar Tree and Dollar General, on the other hand, experienced slight lags compared to the previous year, but still maintained their strength with foot traffic tracking closely to visit numbers from 2021. 

By January 2023, three of the four chains – Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Five Below saw year-over-year (YoY) visit growth of 10.0%, 3.7%, and 18.0%. And though Dollar General did experience a decrease in visits compared to January 2022, the difference was the smallest YoY visit gap the chain has posted in the past four months – though the comparison was also the easiest considering the impacts of Omicron on January visits in 2022.

Year-over-Three-Year Strength 

Given the volatility of 2021 and early 2022, a more complete view of the discount and dollar segment calls for an examination of year-over-three-year (Yo3Y) foot traffic. All months analyzed saw impressive visit growth, with January 2023 seeing foot traffic increase by 21.2%, 19.9%, 19.2%, and 66.6% for Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Five Below, respectively. 

The foot traffic tracks closely with the patterns seen for the segment overall – while YoY visits to discount stores have shown more variance, Yo3Y visits remain consistently elevated. And though the pandemic’s impact on retail may be fading, the category has continued to see visit increases, likely due to the rising cost of living in 2022. As people look for ways to save money on groceries, discount stores have become a popular choice, creating a challenge for traditional grocery stores. And since the large footprint of most dollar & discount stores puts most Americans within several miles of a store, the category’s strength is likely to continue in 2023. 

Visits Per Venue – Proof of Concept

Driving the growth in foot traffic may be the ambitious expansion plans and strategic shifts these chains undertook throughout the pandemic. Dollar Tree, which boasts over 8,000 stores under its Dollar Tree banner, has debuted two new retail concepts – Dollar Tree Plus and Dollar Tree Combo. Similarly, Five Below is continuing its expansion plan, with 200 new stores slated to open in 2023, while Dollar General is leaning into its higher-priced Popshelf concept, hoping to reach 300 locations by the end of 2023.

The decision to expand clearly helped boost visit metrics, but looking at visits per venue helps to reinforce the demand that has driven the growth in reach. Average visits per venue to these chains – the average number of people visiting each location – exceeded 2019 levels all months analyzed, with January posting visit per venue growth of 13.3%, 17.9%, 4.4%, and 22.1% for Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General, and Five Below. The per location metrics show that the expansions were based on a recognition of growing demand and potential – an element that only reinforces the unique power of these chains.

Don’t Discount Dollar Stores’ Potential

The segment is on a decided upswing as it continues to attract new and returning customers with its attractive retail and grocery options. With a shift in how people shop, discount and dollar stores can hope to continue thriving into 2023. 

For more data-driven retail insights, visit

Get 3 brand & industry
breakdowns every week

Subscribe to the newsletter

Great! Prepare your inbox for data-driven insights...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Get a Demo

Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please provide a valid email
Please enter your email
Please enter company name

Thanks for reaching out!

One of our experts will be in touch soon

Try Free
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
It’s Showtime! Movie Theaters in the Spotlight
5 Limited Time Offers (LTOs) Driving Restaurant Traffic
Department Store Deep-Dive: Belk
Regional Grocery Chains Staying Ahead of the Competition
Five Chains that Rightsized for Success
Unlocking the Potential of Offline Retail Media Networks
Dining Out With Darden
What’s in Store for Self-Storage?
Nike + lululemon Update: Strong Performance Amid Expansion Plans
Many Ways to Win: Midwest Grocery Deep Dive
Retail, Reinvented: The Rise of the Pop-Up Shop
Navigating a New Normal in Business Travel & Commutes Office Index: February 2023 Recap
Retail Categories Staying Strong in Volatile Environment
Ulta Beauty: Poised for Success into 2023 Mall Index February 2023: Reasons for Continued Optimism
Catching Up With DICK’s & Hibbett
The Miami-Dade Arena: An Advertising Slam Dunk
Car Washes Revving Up Visits
Tuesday Morning and Sunrises in Home Furnishing
Dining & Valentine’s Day Recap
2023: The Year of the Discount Store
Aldi’s Success Highlights Growing Demand for Value Groceries
5 Retail & Service Categories Holding onto Pandemic Gains in 2023
Visitor Insights from Super Bowl 2023
2023 First Look: Home Improvement Update
How Are Target, Walmart, and Wholesale Clubs Faring in 2023?
Department Store Deep-Dive: Nordstrom
Off-Price: Taking Off in Uncertain Times
Checking in On Middle-Class Hubs
Who Attends the Super Bowl? Office Index: January 2023 Recap
Focusing On Fitness: Q4 and January Recap Mall Index: January 2023 – Returning Mall Normalcy?
Location Intelligence Insights Into Concert Attendance
Winning Dining Strategies for 2023
In-N-Out Burger: What to Expect as the Brand Moves East
Location Intelligence Breakdown: Coffee Caps-Off 2022
Digitally Native Brands Lean Into Brick & Mortar
Washington, D.C. Population Changes & Migration Trends
A Location Intelligence Perspective on Macy’s Rightsizing
Amazon-Powered Shopping: The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Grocery?
Cold Weather, Hot Visits: Diving into Winter Resorts
Wawa and 7-Eleven: Leaning Into the “Slurpee Effect”
2022 and Beyond: Catching Up With McDonald’s & Chipotle
Let’s Have Some Fun! Going Out Is In’s Q4 2022 Quarterly Index Adds Industry Executives to Leadership Team To Drive Company's Next Phase of Growth
5 Emerging Retail Formats: 2023’s Brick-and-Mortar Evolution
Grocery Update: Zooming in on the Lone Star State
2022 Office Recap: The Year of the TGIF Work Week
What Lies Ahead for Brick-and-Mortar Luxury in 2023 Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
Looking Back on 2022’s Holiday Shopping Season
Post-Pandemic Migration Trends in New York
Top Retailers for 2023
The Live Sports Advertising Opportunity
Domestic Migration to the Mountain States: Small Shifts with Big Implications
New Year, New Food: 5 Dining Trends For 2023
This is Why Shop-in-Shops Are Everywhere
Super Saturday 2022 Recap
The San Francisco Shift
Grocery Year-End Update: Publix in the Spotlight
Three Ways Retailers Can Think Small to Increase Store Impact
Offline Beauty Is on an Upswing
The Evolving Migration Patterns of New York’s Florida Snowbirds Office Index: November 2022 Recap
How Viral Social Media Trends Can Drive Offline Engagement
Are You Ready for Some Football? Experiential Marketing Shows Promise
Mall and Shopping Center Trends For 2023
Retail Corridors and Indoor Malls: A Holiday Head-to-Head
Placer Bytes: Nike, lululemon, and GameStop Update Mall Indexes: November 2022 Update
Black Friday 2022: Consumers Hear the Call
Digitally Native Brands: Taking Off, Offline
Discount and Dollar Stores Leading the Pack
Turkey Wednesday 2022
Retail’s Evolving Holiday Season
Placer Bytes: Starbucks and Department Stores Ahead of Black Friday
Ulta: A Force to be Reckoned With
College Towns Drive Dining Growth
Foot Traffic Trends Reveal Consumers Ready for Holiday Cheer
How Retailers Can Win Big By Going Small
How Are Consumers Feeling Ahead of Black Friday 2022?
Off-Price, Hibbett, and Dick’s Pre-Holiday Check-in
Ho, Ho, Wholesale: Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
October 2022’s Retail Rebound
Target and Walmart Ahead of the Holidays
Home Improvement: Leave it to the Pros
Despite Inflation, Holiday Season is Off to a Good Start Office Index: October 2022 Recap Mall Indexes- October 2022 Update
Americans Double Down on Fitness
The State of Grocery
CVS and Walgreens: The Wave Continues
Coffee Chains Brewing Up Visits Spotlight: Pizza Players
What Drove COVID-Era Urban Migration Trends?
Kroger and Albertsons: A Merging of Strengths