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Dollar Stores Now Outnumber National Drug Store Chains

As of mid-year 2011, the combined store count of the four major dollar store chains – Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only – has surpassed that of the three biggest national drug store chains – Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, according to a new study released by Colliers International.

The white paper, “Dollar Days: How Dollar Stores are Growing in a Weak Economy,” notes that the rapid expansion of this segment is part of the larger lesson learned by retailers during the recent recession: consumers are looking for value.

“The rapid evaporation of wealth (both real and perceived) has profoundly changed the way Americans shop and how they define value,” according to Ann Natunewicz, national manager of U.S. Retail Research for Colliers International. “Dollar stores now serve a larger consumer base, which is fueling unprecedented growth in dollar store leasing and a significant shift in the types of retail space they take. The Colliers study offers important insights about the success of the dollar store market and its impact on commercial real estate.”

The four national chains – Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only stores now operate approximately 21,500 locations in the United States—more than the combined stores of the three biggest drugstore chains. Typical dollar stores occupy an average footprint of 7,000 to 10,000 s.f., though some newer prototypes exceed 20,000 s.f.

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