More than 4 in 10 consumers said they planned to shop at a dollar store during the 2018 holiday season, according to a recent survey conducted by research firm The NPD Group. NPD’s Checkout, a receipt mining service, reveals that dollar stores, like Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar, are picking up in popularity, with the number of buyers increasing 3% in the 12 months ending October 2018, compared to last year.
“Dollar stores’ old bargain-based reputation is now more about value and variety, expanding their reach among consumers,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Especially during the holiday shopping season, time-starved consumers are attracted to one-stop retailers that help them minimize the surge in their spending.”
Over the past year, despite no real change in the average basket size, the increase in brick-and-mortar dollar store buyers has been further bolstered by an increase in the average spend per buyer from $165 to $171. The result is 7% growth in overall consumer spending at these retailers, according to NPD’s Checkout information.
Consumers of all income levels and age brackets are shopping at dollar stores. Nearly a third of dollar store spending comes from households with incomes of $100,000 and higher. The spending distribution among the four lower income brackets is fairly evenly distributed, with the second highest share coming from $25,000 to $49,999 income households. Older Gen Xers, between 45 and 54 years of age, are the primary dollar store buyer, representing 30% of spending. However, younger consumers are also engaging with dollar stores.
“The successes dollar stores are seeing at brick and mortar … will tell an important story about the state of retail,” adds Cohen. “In a world where online continues to threaten the livelihood of physical stores, dollar stores are proving brick isn’t dead as long as it delivers the right balance of value to the consumer.”