Some Dollar Tree items will be flying off the shelves for good at select locations. High levels of theft have caused the company to permanently remove certain products at some stores.
In the coming months, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar will be taking extreme measures to curb theft. In addition to discontinuing the sale of select items at some stores, the company will be moving certain items behind the checkout counter and locking others up in cases.
Dollar Tree Earnings Are Down
For the second quarter of 2023, Dollar Tree surpassed Wall Street’s earnings and revenue expectations. The company increased its full-year sales outlook, but decreased its earnings outlook — partially due to ongoing challenges surrounding theft.
Chief financial officer at Dollar Tree, Jeff Davis, said “Unfortunately, the headwinds we’re having in shrink are muting our margins right now.” Only time will tell if removing certain items from select Dollar Tree locations will ultimately boost the company’s profits.
Dollar Stores Known as Crime Hotspots
To most people, the Dollar Tree is a place to buy affordable goods. However, many dollar stores have unfortunately gained a reputation as “crime hotspots.”
Some of this can be attributed to Dollar Tree locations placed in areas known for high levels of crime. However, dollar stores may be more vulnerable to crime than competitors like Walmart.
This could be due to understaffing in dollar stores. Since companies like Dollar Tree offer seriously low prices. To keep costs down, some stores are staffed by one or two employees at a time. Minimal staff presence can make stores more vulnerable to crime.
In fact, crimes beyond shoplifting have occurred at several Dollar Tree locations in 2023. Dollar Tree stores in Pittsburgh, Fort Myers, Florida and Manchester, New Hampshire have all been impacted.
Why Are Dollar Tree Prices So Cheap?
Chances are, your favorite thing about the Dollar Tree is the price. Since you’re able to purchase items for significantly less at this store than its competitors, it makes sense to wonder why the prices are so low.
One of the main reasons is many Dollar Tree items are private labels. Some of these include:
- Food lines — Home Style Select and Nature’s House
- Office supplies — Jot
- Personal care products — Klar and Danver
Of course, Dollar Tree also sells many name-brand items. However, the balance of private label items on the shelves allows the company to maintain rock-bottom prices.
Are Dollar Tree and Dollar General the Same?
They’re both discount stores and they’re owned by the same parent company, so it’s fair to wonder if Dollar Tree and Dollar General are actually the same store. Despite their similarities, the stores are different.
In fact, they’re so different that Dollar Tree, Inc. — the parent company — has created a Combo store format. As of Fiscal Year 2022, approximately 810 of these stores existed, with plans to add hundreds more in future years, according to the company website.
If you don’t shop at either store often, they probably seem the same to you. This is fair, considering the word “dollar” is in each store’s name.
Despite that, a quick trip into Dollar General will reveal that most items aren’t actually a dollar. In fact, the store website has a “Dollar Deals” section.
In comparison, most Dollar Tree items are priced at $1.25. Standard prices were $1 until 2022 when the company made the decision to raise them to the current rate.
However, a Dollar Tree Plus section has recently been added to more than 1,000 stores. Items are priced at $3 and $5, covering a variety of categories like the following:
- Party supplies
- Seasons and holidays
- Toys and games
- Home décor
Are Dollar Tree Items Going Back to $1?
If you’ve been dissuaded by Dollar Tree items priced at $1.25, you’ll be happy to hear many prices will be rolled back. Dollar Tree CEO, Rick Dreiling, gave the update to attendees at a conference in June. “It’s pretty hard to have a banner like (Dollar Tree), and you have an item that everybody else has at $1, and you’re at a buck and quarter,” he said.
In total, just 300-400 of the company’s approximately 8,000 items will see a price decrease. This is only around 5% of Dollar Tree’s total inventory, so most items will remain at the higher price point.
While it won’t make much of a dent in your wallet, this price decrease will offer a bit of savings, which is always welcome.
It’s unfortunate that some Dollar Tree locations will no longer sell your favorite items. If you live near multiple Dollar Tree stores, it’s also possible you’ll be able to find the items you need by visiting a different location.
While it’s unlikely Dollar Tree will bring these products back to the stores they’re being removed from anytime soon, they could make a return in the future. As for right now, you’ll have to wait and see if Dollar Tree’s new security measures deliver the desired results. If they do, perhaps the company won’t need to remove any more items from its stores.
Data is accurate as of Sept. 5, 2023, and is subject to change.
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- CNBC. 2023. "Dollar Tree’s shares sink 13%, as CEO says ‘challenging’ economy is pressuring discounter."
- Reuters. 2023. "Dollar Tree sees annual profit dampened by costs, pivot to essentials."
- CNN. 2023. "Dollar Tree said theft is such a problem it will start locking up items or stop selling them altogether."
- Business Insider. 2021. "A Dollar General store was robbed 4 times in 3 months, and critics say it shows how discount chains put their staff at risk."
- Dollar Store Reviewer. 2022. "A List of Major Dollar Store Private Label House Brands."
- Business Insider. 2018. "Dollar Tree and Dollar General have a secret weapon for keeping their prices so low."
- The Sun. 2023. "TURNING BACK Dollar Tree CMO confirms company will make major price change – and customers will be delighted."