Dollar stores are seeing increased traffic thanks to inflation

With inflation in June hitting its highest percentage in decades, consumers are looking for ways to stretch their cash as the prices of basic necessities like groceries and fuel continue to rise. As a result, many are flocking to cheaper alternatives – like dollar stores – when shopping.

According to new data from, customer traffic in dollar and discount stores increased by 13.2% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to the previous three months and in the second quarter by 8% year on year. Compared to the same point in 2019, it increased by 20.5%.

“The dramatic increase in weekly Yo3Y visits demonstrates the long-term benefit the pandemic has brought to the category. In the early days of COVID, dollar and discount stores were one of the few retail categories to stay open as essential stores, prompting many shoppers to discover the budget-friendly one-stop shops — and those shoppers have kept coming back ever since,” says the report.

In terms of specific businesses, Family Dollar saw the largest increase in walk-in traffic during the second quarter, up 16.3% year over year. Five Below was up 10.2%, Dollar General was up 8.5%, and Dollar Tree traffic was up 5.9%.

The change in spending habits came as even the dollar store model was forced to adjust to inflation. Dollar Tree announced in 2021 that it was forced to increase the price of nearly all of its items to $1.25 each and would maintain that price point going forward even as inflation eased.

Shoppers are also well served by a number of stores across the United States. Dollar General has more than 17,000 stores across the United States, while Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, part of the same family, operate more than 15,000 stores. Founded in 2002, Five Below continues to expand but currently operates approximately 1,200 stores. They announced plans in June to open another 1,000 stores by 2025.

A person exits a Dollar Tree store in Washington

Photo: Reuters/ERIN SCOTT Dollar stores are seeing increased traffic thanks to inflation

Fry Electronics Team

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