Who Knew Saving Money Could Be So Fun? A Look at Today’s Value/Dollar Shopper

When was the last time you heard the word “fun” come up when you speak with shoppers about their visits to retail stores? Well, if you include the Dollar Store channel as an area of interest, you may be surprised at how often it is mentioned.

I’ve personally been involved in research covering this channel since its early years, and the evolution and growth I’ve seen in that time is phenomenal. It’s not about merchandise that “fell off the back of a truck.” With a current store count of about 25,000 and projected growth in the next decade to nearly 45,000 individual locations, these stores are definitely here to stay.

In fact, when we spoke with Dollar Store shoppers during VideoMining’s recent Value/Dollar Shopper Insights (VSI) study, almost all say that they will continue to shop in these stores even when their economic position improves. When you combine this loyalty with the other factors that drive shoppers to the channel (convenience and good prices), and then add in the availability of brand name merchandise on a regular basis, you can quickly see why Dollar Stores have become the destination many people consider first when their product needs arise.

And it’s not only the categories one would think would do well in these stores (e.g., cleaning, paper, HBC, etc.) as many locations (the key chains especially) now have very developed offerings for immediate consumption products like beverages, snacks (and even alcohol).

I don’t think anyone doubts the viability of this channel anymore, and when you look at its growth and compare it to that from other outlet types one can quickly see where the shoppers are coming from (which is almost everywhere including Convenience, Mass, Drug and Grocery). An example of a direct response to the recent growth in Dollar Stores is the current trend in Convenience Stores toward more developed foodservice offerings. Since Convenience Stores can’t compete with Dollar Stores at many levels (e.g., price and assortment), it would make sense that they are looking for new growth opportunities and QSR’s seem to be their current target.

I could go on and on about Dollar Stores and feel free to reach out to me (jfriedlaender@videomining.com) if you share my passion and would like to learn more. We’d love to hear about your experiences in or thoughts about Dollar Stores, so please also feel free to contact us through this website or through any of our social media outlets, linked in the footer at the bottom of this page.

Also, make sure to check out our VSI at a Glance infographic featuring some highlights from our recent study. It’s just a taste of what the full report has to offer, but there are some incredibly interesting facts in here, including information about key channel trends and specific shopper behaviors.