8 Shocking Facts You Didn’t Know About Dollar Stores


8 Shocking Facts About Dollar Stores
Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr.

This might sound clickbaity, but the truth about dollar stores may seriously surprise you….

True, you can find some spectacular deals at Dollar General or Dollar Tree, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind with them.

Below, find 8 shocking facts about dollar stores!

Some will actually help you make better buying decisions, while others were just included because they seemed interesting.

8 Mind-Blowing And Shocking Facts About Dollar Stores

dollar general sign board
Photo courtesy of Mike Mozart on Flickr.

1. Dollar stores have become a target of violent crime

So far, the most shocking fact about dollar stores is that they have recently become a target of violent crime.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, chains like Dollar General have had excellent sales. Likewise, dollar stores have seen a rise in crime nationwide – particularly in robberies and violent crime. Among other incidents, a high-profile murder occurred in Flint, Michigan, on May 1 after a dispute over wearing face masks.

Among factors contributing to increased crime rates at chains like Dollar General are security issues. Aside from that, Dollar General has had a major expansion across the country and has presence in so-called “high-crime neighborhoods”.

2. Dollar stores are atrocious for some categories of products

In 2016, Kiplinger has set out to investigate the quality of items with price tags of $1 or less in Dollar Tree stores in Northern Virginia. Well, as it turns out, not everything you buy for such a price can offer quality and value. We aren’t really surprised, to be honest.

Anyway, here’s what Kiplinger thinks should NOT be bought at dollar stores due to very low quality and poor value:

  • Batteries, especially carbon-zinc ones.
  • Items like canned goods, steaks, gum, school supplies, and windshield washer fluid because these products may be more expensive and have lower quality than in other stores.
  • Hair and skincare products. Cheap, no-name products may not be safe for your health.
  • Tools, which typically have very low quality and durability.

Bottom line – you should always compare prices and shop for higher-quality products.

3. Dollar stores encourage a “treasure hunt” atmosphere

Like any other business, dollar stores are most interested in making a profit. Well, one way of encouraging visitors to buy items is to instill a “treasure hunt” feel into them, according to Mental Floss.

To do this, Dollar General rotates its inventory regularly to encourage people to buy items now in case they won’t be around later. This sense of urgency allows dollar stores to compete with Amazon and other online retailers that maintain a stock of popular products.

4. Dollar stores have limited space by design

Another interesting fact from Mental Floss is that the limited space of dollar stores is by design.

Now, the small footprint makes dollar stores more accessible and easier to use, but it also ensures that visitors see as many products as possible. Pair this with the mentioned “treasure hunt” feel, and you get a reliable formula for generating high sales.

Dollar Stores encourage a 'treasure hunt' atmosphere
Photo courtesy of JJBers on Flickr.

5. There are more dollar stores in the US than Walmart, Home Depot, or Walgreens locations

This one was a pretty big surprise for us.

As of 2018, there were 31,620 dollar stores in the United States, according to Statista. Of these, about 15,000 belonged to Dollar General and another 15,000 to Dollar Tree, Forbes writes.

In 2018, these two dollar store chains combined had (and now have) more locations than the six biggest United States retailers combined! The six biggest retailers in question are Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Home Depot, CVS, and Walgreens.

Speaking of CVS and Walgreens, we have dedicated posts detailing special deals for seniors available at their locations.

Aside from that, all major department store chains in America – Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, to name a few – equal less than 15% of the number of dollar stores!

The revenue of dollar stores was impressive too as of 2018. The combined annual sales of Dollar Tree and Dollar General were more than the sales of TJX and Ross together, Macy’s and JC Penney together, and Apple Stores.

6. Salaries at dollar stores are underwhelming

Salaries at dollar stores can be pretty low as well. According to Glassdoor, hourly rates of cashiers at Dollar Tree start at $9. Annually, cashiers earn $18,349 on average. Assistant managers, sales associates, and stockers earn about as much.

Store and district managers earn from roughly 40 to 70 thousand per year, which is dramatically higher than what low-profile employees make.

7. Some dollar stores aren’t technically dollar stores

Some dollar stores out there remain true to their name by only offering products priced at $1 or lower. But many don’t.

Until recently, for example, Dollar Tree had nothing pricier than $1. But in 2019, angry investors prompted Dollar Tree to start selling items priced more than a dollar. Dollar General and Family Dollar also have products that cost over a buck.

8. Employees may actually warn you about bad deals

According to Mental Floss, Hank, assistant Dollar Tree store manager in Canada, says that employees may warn visitors about especially poor or overpriced products. Hank says that he would prefer to make customers happy rather than add a few additional dollars to the earnings of the company.

Probably not every employee at dollar stores is like Hank, but it’s nice to know that there are still people who care about customers.


At this point, it seems clear that Dollar Stores have become an institution in the U.S.! And an interesting one they sure are!

Whether you’re a Dollar Store disciple and love shopping at them, or whether you avoid them at all costs, we hope you enjoyed this article!



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