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Placer Bytes: Dollar Stores and Five Below

Ethan Chernofsky
November 23, 2020
Placer Bytes: Dollar Stores and Five Below

In this Placer Bytes, we dive into the recoveries of value retailers Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Five Below. Specifically, we analyze the timing of their visit growth ahead of a potentially massive holiday season for the value segment.

Dollar General Riding Strength Into the Holidays

Dollar General was strong pre-COVID, during the pandemic and is seeing visits back on the rise ahead of a critical holiday season. Visits in August, September, and October were up 13.6%, 2.2%, and 7.4% year over year, helping the brand push towards a year where every month shows visit increase. And while this is impressive in its own right, in the case of Dollar General, it could mean even more.

Dollar General is showing a build-up at just the right time heading into the holidays, and it could be a uniquely strong opportunity for the brand. Looking at weekly visits year over year, the weeks beginning October 26th. November 2nd and November 9th averaged 9.0% growth ahead of the 4.4% growth seen in the two weeks prior to those. And this could mean big things. According to Forrester, over 26% of shoppers expected to spend less this holiday season with over 15% expecting to buy less overall items - and that includes 59% that hadn’t even considered the issue by the time of the poll. So, Dollar General’s rising traffic and ability to provide gifts for a more cost-conscious customer could signify a major alignment of consumer interests with the brand’s core values.

Dollar Tree’s Recovery Pace

For the second time this year, we are asking whether Dollar Tree is back to its old ways of visit growth. After coming within 1.8% of 2019 visit rates in both July and August, the chain took a step back with visits down 6.4% in September. Yet, October brought visits a step closer with visits down just 3.4% year over year. Should Dollar Tree prove capable of holding this pace while enjoying the same trends mentioned above with Dollar General, the effect could be major.

Five Below Poised for a Big Holiday Season?

Five Below started off 2020 with huge visit growth numbers of 17.3% and 24.8% in January and February respectively. But after seeing visits plummet to down 93.4% amid retail closures in April, the brand has been steadily building back up. Visits in August, September, and October were up 7.2%, 5.2%, and 9.9% respectively year over year. And like Dollar General and Dollar Tree, their value orientation could be especially promising in this unique holiday season.

Will value propel Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Big Lots to significant holiday seasons? Visit to find out.

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