Let me be upfront, I love dollar stores. But I am realistic, and know that not everything you find on the shelves at your local store is a bargain. And yes, I have gone crazy a couple of times when I find something I really like. (Notice I said like, not need). The folks at Cheapism.com have some amazing insight into the dollar stores phenomenon. And it doesn't always have to do with money. Read about some of their observations below, or check out the whole list here.

  • Dollar Stores aren't always cheaper
  • Yes, some items cost more than $1
  • Items could be cheaper because they are smaller
  • Name brands are there, but sometimes not a bargain. They can be way less than full size
  • They zero in on a certain type of shopper. Cheapism says that they are counting on an average female with a two income household, making $40,000 a year, with no wage growth at all. And her shopping habits don't 'respond well' to a price change in as little as ten cents
  • And they are looking for the above person to be their customer, and that is sometimes in low income areas with high crime rates, where dollar stores typically thrive.
  • Even rich people like to bargain shop at dollar stores
  • Employees usually have more than one job in the stores, and have to frequently multitask. Security, cashier, janitor, all rolled into one
  • There's basically only two competitors in the dollar store wars. Dollar Tree, which owns Family Dollar, has 15,000 locations and made $22 billion dollars last year alone. And Dollar General, who also has 15,000 locations and made $23 billion last year. Yes, that's billion.
  • More and more stores are on the horizon. Estimates are that there will be at least 38,000 brick and mortar dollar store locations by 2021.
  • Even dollar stores are struggling to keep up with the behemoth. Also known as Amazon.

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