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Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum

by 
Shira Petrack
 on 
May 13, 2024
Dollar Stores Still Gaining Momentum

Discount & Dollar Stores have become an important part of the wider retail landscape over the past couple of years, and location intelligence indicates that the category is continuing to gain momentum in 2024. We dove into the data for Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar to understand how these banners are performing and analyze the regional reach of each chain.

Key Takeaways 

  • Discount & Dollar Store leaders Dollar General and Dollar Tree are maintaining their momentum in 2024. 
  • Although Family Dollar has already begun closing stores, the chain is succeeding in maintaining its 2023 visit levels. 
  • Of the three banners analyzed, Dollar General receives the most visits nationwide – but Dollar Tree comes out ahead in the western United States.
  • The gap between Dollar General and Dollar Tree’s visit shares is relatively small in several major states, indicating strong consumer demand that can sustain multiple leaders in the Discount & Dollar Store space. 

Dollar Stores Still on the Rise 

Recent visitation data for the major Discount & Dollar Store banners indicates that the category is still on the rise: Monthly visits to both Dollar General and Dollar Tree grew year-over-year (YoY) between December 2023 and March 2024. Dollar Tree-owned Family Dollar – which recently announced the closure of 1000 stores over the next couple of years – also saw its YoY traffic grow in February and March. 

April Data Continues to Show Category’s Growth Potential 

With the exception of the week of April 1st 2024 – when the Easter calendar shift caused a regular week in 2024 to be compared to the week of Easter in 2023 – visitation trends remained positive in April, highlighting the ongoing strength of the Discount & Dollar Store category. Even Family Dollar – which has already begun to close stores – saw its numbers remain on par with last year’s visit levels, indicating the ongoing demand for value-priced goods in 2024. 

Regional Variations in Dollar Store Preferences 

Looking at the Q1 2024 state-by-state relative visit share of the three chains – Dollar General, Dollar Tree, or Family Dollar – reveals some clear regional differences in consumer preferences across states. 

Dollar Tree was more popular in the West, with the Dollar Tree brand leading in most western states and the company’s Family Dollar banner receiving the plurality of visits in Wyoming. Dollar Tree was also the most-visited chain in several states on the East Coast, including Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. 

Dollar General, meanwhile, received the majority or plurality of the visit share in the rest of the country. 

Room for Multiple Strong Players in Discount & Dollar Store Space 

But although Dollar General does receive a majority of the combined Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar visit share nationwide, the Discount & Dollar Store category does not conform to a “winner-take-all” model. In many states, Dollar Tree’s visit share is just slightly lower than that of Dollar General. 

In New York, for example, where Dollar General received 44.6% of the combined visit share in Q1 2024, 38.1% of visits in the same period went to Dollar Tree. And in Florida, where 44.2% of the combined visits to the three banners went to Dollar General, 38.2% of visits went to Dollar Tree. It seems, then, that even in states where Dollar General takes the lead, there is plenty of Discount & Dollar Store demand to sustain multiple players in the space. 

Early 2024 data suggests that the Discount & Dollar Store sector is not slowing down any time soon. What will the rest of the year have in store for the space? 

Visit placer.ai to find out. 

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