We shopped at Dollar Tree and Dollar General, the two largest dollar store chains in the US, and were shocked by how different the shopping experience is

Dollar general

How does Dollar General stack up against its competitor, Dollar Tree?Courtesy of Dollar General
  • Dollar Tree and Dollar General are the two largest dollar store chains in the US.

  • While they serve a similar customer base, there are key differences in their shopping experience.

  • We put the two to the test.

We visited a Dollar General and Dollar Tree store in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, a little over a mile from each other. Our first stop was at Dollar General.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

There were signs on the door informing customers that the store accepts food stamps. These two chains count on low-income shoppers, and welfare checks typically drive sales.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

The first thing we noticed is that most items cost well over $1.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Though there are some sections with $1 deals, most offers are $3 and over …

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

… with a $10 price cap.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

There were a ton of bundle deals that aimed to get customers to spend more.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

And there was a mix of private label and national brands.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Some cleaning products were stored behind perspex panels for kids’ safety.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

We were impressed with how tidy the store appeared, even with a small number of staff working.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Even in the typically messy kids section, toys were neatly arranged.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

And the self-serve area looked almost untouched.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Dollar General has been strongly criticized in the past for the lack of fresh produce sold in its stores. Critics say these stores often open in rural areas, forcing out other grocery stores, and creating food deserts.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Source: Slate

This store only had a selection of processed and frozen foods.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

One of the reasons Dollar General can keep its prices low is because it sells items in smaller quantities. In some cases shoppers may pay more on a per-ounce or per-item basis, however.

Dollar general

Insider/Brittany Chang

Despite this, we saw some options for buying in bulk.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

There were several gaps on shelves in the store.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Unfilled space on shelves have become common across the retail sector due to supply-chain constraints.

Dollar general store in bushwick

Insider/Brittany Chang

Overall, the store was well presented and seemed like the ideal place for a midweek shop or somewhere to pick up cheap household essentials and personal care products.

Dollar general

Insider/Brittany Chang

Next, we headed to Dollar Tree. The company — Dollar General’s leading competitor in the US — also owns pricier sister chain Family Dollar and has over 15,500 stores in total.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

At this chain, deep discounts are the name of the game.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

Up until recently, Dollar Tree was the last remaining major dollar store chain to stick to its $1-and-under price point. In September, it raised prices to $1.25.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

Source: Insider

Despite this, we spotted a few $1 deals.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

The tone of the store felt instantly different — it appeared tired and run-down.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

While employees seemed to be in the process of restocking shelves, there was an overwhelming number of boxes piled up around the store.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

These boxes were blocking aisles …

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

… and making it hard for customers to reach some items.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

This felt unsafe.

Dollar tree

Insider/Brittany Chang

Though both chains are known for their bare-bones design and no-frills shopping experience, this particular location was extremely messy.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

Packages of food had been opened and were spilling onto shelves.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

But customers didn’t seem to mind. When we visited, there were around 20 people browsing the store.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

Other aisles were in good order.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

The store changes its assortment constantly, which gives its shoppers a treasure-hunt kind of experience.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

It also stocks a lot of seasonal merchandise which, according to Moody’s, accounts for nearly half of its revenue.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

Source: Moody’s

Though it’s mostly private label, you can find deals on national brands here too.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

There was no fresh food at this store either but a ton of cheap frozen food …

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

… and confectionery.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

While there are certainly deals to be had at Dollar Tree, the shopping experience was far superior at Dollar General in terms of the quality of the products and the appearance of the store.

Dollar tree in brooklyn

Insider/Brittany Chang

However, if you’re after rock bottom discounts, Dollar Tree doesn’t disappoint.

Dollar tree

Insider/Brittany Chang

Read the original article on Business Insider

News in Association with Source link

Related Posts

error: Content is protected !!