We visited Family Dollar, the store that analysts say is becoming Dollar Tree's biggest problem. Here's what we found.
Aug 19, 2018, 20:18 IST
The Family Dollar store we visited was located in Brooklyn, New York. On average, its stores are around 7,000 square feet in size.
At the entrance of the store was a selection of seasonal products. This tactic is also used by its sister store, Dollar Tree, to grab the attention of the shopper and make sure items with a shorter shelf life don't go unnoticed.
The layout of the store and assortment felt a lot more similar to a Dollar General store than a Dollar Tree.
The majority of its products cost more than $1 ...
... and there is a much wider selection of well-known brands.
Similarly to Dollar General, Family Dollar is designed to cater to everyday and basic requirements.
There was a limited selection of fresh food that included milk, eggs, and cheese — but no fruit or vegetables.
"Family Dollar stores stock a higher mix of consumables, and satisfy fill-in trips between visits to a mass merchant," Credit Suisse analysts wrote in June.
There definitely wasn't enough here to do your weekly grocery shopping, but it could be enough to grab some essentials midweek.
However, it was a confusing mix between doing a quick shop and a monthly stock-up. In some areas of the store, it felt more like a warehouse club.
Items were being sold in bulk, clearly as a way to keep prices down. However, buying in bulk doesn't lend itself to frequent visits.
It also made the store feel more expensive, as even though you are likely getting a better deal if you buy in bulk, you are in two different mindsets when shopping — is this a dollar store or a warehouse club?
We were impressed with the wide selection of items overall. In this relatively small space, they also had kitchen and bathroom supplies as well as some underwear.
This did mean that some areas were fairly disorganized, however.