Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4774
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 85 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by storewanderer » March 6th, 2019, 6:25 pm

Brian Lutz wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 3:57 pm
Dollar Tree is planning to close up to 390 Family Dollar stores in 2019 and rebrand up to 200 more to Dollar Tree stores. High rents seem to be the main culprit:

https://komonews.com/news/business/doll ... -172603848
390 stores sounds like a lot of stores but when you have 15,000 stores, it isn't really that many stores...

With that said I am not surprised to see this. Family Dollar continues to underperform. They just don't seem to generate much foot traffic.

In my area both Family Dollar and Dollar General have some "disaster" stores that have most aisles blocked by unpacked freight, mostly empty and messy shelves, and absolutely filthy floors, doors, counters, etc., and both have a smaller number of very neat and very clean stores. I haven't yet figured out what the correlation is.

wnetmacman
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 800
Joined: January 17th, 2010, 2:36 pm
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 9 times
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by wnetmacman » March 6th, 2019, 7:07 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 6:25 pm
In my area both Family Dollar and Dollar General have some "disaster" stores that have most aisles blocked by unpacked freight, mostly empty and messy shelves, and absolutely filthy floors, doors, counters, etc., and both have a smaller number of very neat and very clean stores. I haven't yet figured out what the correlation is.
Isn't that the decor package?

I've sen the back rooms in some of these; the front is a palace in comparison.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4774
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 85 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by storewanderer » March 6th, 2019, 10:34 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 7:07 pm
storewanderer wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 6:25 pm
In my area both Family Dollar and Dollar General have some "disaster" stores that have most aisles blocked by unpacked freight, mostly empty and messy shelves, and absolutely filthy floors, doors, counters, etc., and both have a smaller number of very neat and very clean stores. I haven't yet figured out what the correlation is.
Isn't that the decor package?

I've sen the back rooms in some of these; the front is a palace in comparison.
At least they are consistent? I am amazed how profitable Dollar General is. It just goes to show if you put up a cheap structure, on dirt cheap land, staff it with one or two employees, and price your items below the rest of the immediate area, you will draw in enough traffic to turn a profit. Despite not having a neat, clean, well stocked store. Despite questionable inventory control. Despite everything.

cjd
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 219
Joined: August 18th, 2018, 6:54 am
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 14 times
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by cjd » December 30th, 2019, 5:13 pm

The Dollar Tree here is generally an ok store. The biggest issue I see is due to their not hiring many staff, there is often only one checkout open which leads to grumpy customers and in turn a grumpy and overworked clerk. Lately they seem to be getting better about having two open, I think when I went recently they even had as many as three lines open. Overall the store is very well kept for how busy it is. It used to have carpet squares which were quite dirty but they recently installed vinyl tiles which at least make it look better. Overall the store could use a deep cleaning but they probably just don't have the time due to the small staff.

As for Dollar General, I've generally found their stores to be in better shape than Family Dollar, but that's mainly due to the size of the stores I think. All of the Dollar Generals here except one have moved out of the shopping centers and into new stand alone locations, and have started opening stores every few miles, especially in unincorporated areas.

The store nearest me is about 3 years old and is quite a nice store inside. It does feel a bit crowded and feels like a metal building inside. Although they tried to emulate the modern look by having no ceiling and a polished concrete floor. The grocery aisles are set up nicely, almost like a supermarket, although this isn't a DG Market location. I don't go often but they are handy to have vs driving about twice as far to the super market.

One Family Dollar here was a clean store but it relocated to a new building several years ago, which I've never been to. The other location is still in a shopping center and it has improved greatly than it was in the past but it's still a fairly small store which makes it feel cluttered but by no means is it unkept. 10 years ago though, it was a disaster, with boxes everywhere, often empty shelves and filthy unwaxed floors. The back room was always a wreck. They'd bring in crew from other stores to try to get it restocked properly and then it would end up back to a mess again. I guess in the intervening years they've gotten it under control. It would still do better if it could expand or move. An expansion would suit it well given it is next to a vacated Radio Shack.

Another Family Dollar in the next town was located next to a Dollar General, and when the DG moved, it expanded into the space and made quite a large store.

In a lot of the older 70s shopping centers it was common in the 80s and 90s for the two to occupy adjacent spaces. Not sure why that was or what was usually in the spaces prior.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4774
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 85 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by storewanderer » December 30th, 2019, 11:25 pm

Dollar Tree is running on very tight labor and it shows in their store condition and in-stock levels. The thing is most Dollar Tree locations have a decent amount of traffic and do have 3-4 employees working at a time, but the customer traffic and amount of freight keeps everyone very busy.

The Family Dollar seems to be a much lower tonnage type operation (not sure about dollars since they have higher cost items) and I often go in and only see one employee on duty (I assume there is a second employee in the back or something, cannot imagine they run a single employee for safety purposes but maybe). Some (most) Family Dollar Stores are quite neat and orderly, this has improved since Dollar Tree took them over. But I still, including last week, stumble upon a messy location. For instance the location I went to last week, in Fernley, NV, had freight covering its entire back wall and side wall (these walls were literally unshoppable, and you could not even walk down the side aisle due to the amount of freight). The shelves were poorly stocked and what was stocked was very messy.

I see a lot more Dollar Generals in poor condition than Family Dollars. But Dollar General locations seem to do a lot more business and when the two compete, for whatever reason(s), Dollar General seems to win out.

Dollar Tree also has a new next generation model for Family Dollar they have remodeled some locations into. These locations are cleaned up a little at least after the remodel, and have more Dollar Tree ($1) items present. They highlight food/snacks a little better, cards/party a little better, and downplay things like clothing and shoes.

Brian Lutz
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts: 693
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 5:51 pm
Location: Lake Stevens WA
Been thanked: 9 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by Brian Lutz » December 31st, 2019, 11:09 am

As far as store conditions go, see this thread about a Dollar Tree in Vancouver WA that got a $503k fine from the state for "repeated willful" safety violations, which also notes that other Dollar Tree stores in the state had accumulated nearly $600k in fines for safety violations from Washington L&I since 2013

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2120

As for floors in the stores, for most of them it tends to be whatever happened to be there before they moved in. I've seen one that used carpet squares, but those quickly get dirty and look bad. Other stores I've seen have tile or polished floors, but the aisles are usually such a mess in some cases you'd be hard pressed to even get a broom in there.

storewanderer
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Posts: 4774
Joined: February 23rd, 2009, 3:54 pm
Been thanked: 85 times
Contact:
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by storewanderer » December 31st, 2019, 7:56 pm

The carpets were getting smelly due to dirt build up and clean ups that were not happening of wet product that was spilling on the floor, or leftover gifts from pets that were allowed to go into the store. Wet spills blended into the carpet and with the low staffing levels, often went unnoticed.

I've been in a couple Dollar Trees in former Walgreens in the past few months and both had the old Walgreens flooring (and lights). Oddly, they did destruct the old Walgreens walk in cooler area and install their own wall units. One location kept the old pharmacy and just put shelves around it.

cjd
Gold Member
Gold Member
Posts: 219
Joined: August 18th, 2018, 6:54 am
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 14 times
Status: Offline

Re: Dollar Tree Buying Family Dollar

Post by cjd » January 1st, 2020, 7:12 am

Dollar Tree here was originally "Everything's $1". Don't recall what was in the building before that, but originally it was actually a Sears Catalog store back in the 70s. It's definitely been remodeled inside since then (I think likely when it had become Everything's $1) but the windows and doors and tilework on the storefront obviously are original.

I have seen some of the other Family Dollar locations that were newer builds being converted to Dollar Tree since they have bought the chain.

Post Reply