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Monday, October 16, 2017

Dollar Stores and Fishtown

Mya Frazier reports at Bloomberg at the sad story behind the growth of dollar stores:
Already, there are 14,000 one-story cinder block Dollar Generals in the U.S.—outnumbering by a few hundred the coffee chain’s domestic footprint. Fold in the second-biggest dollar chain, Dollar Tree, and the number of stores, 27,465, exceeds the 22,375 outlets of CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens combined. And the little-box player is fully expecting to turn profits where even narrow-margin colossus Walmart failed.

About a year ago, as stores were going under across the nation, Garrick Brown, director for retail research at the commercial real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, was searching for bright spots in the industry. For five years running, he realized, a dollar store had opened once every four and a half hours, an average of more than five a day. “They see a need and are aggressively racing to meet that need for low-cost goods in places that are food deserts,” he says.
“It reminds me of a craps table,” Brown, the commercial real estate analyst, says. “Essentially what the dollar stores are betting on in a large way is that we are going to have a permanent underclass in America. It’s based on the concept that the jobs went away, and the jobs are never coming back, and that things aren’t going to get better in any of these places.”