Dollar Tree


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It seemed like Dollar Tree was pushing it when they raised prices in 2021, bumping up the cost of a number of items from $1 to $1.25.

Of course, you could argue that at least $1 was still in the price. But now things are about to get even further from the brand’s namesake. 

Dollar Tree recently announced at its annual investor meeting that, after successfully charging $1.25 for most items, it would be raising its price points even further. The chain aims to sell $3, $4, and even $5 items, primarily targeting food and beverage products.

“The hard part has been done,” Dollar Tree CEO Rick Dreiling told investors, according to Winsight Grocery Business. “That leap to $1.25 was painful but that is done now, and it’s time for us to capitalize on it.” Dollar Tree executives claim that higher prices will allow the store to carry a larger assortment of products, including brand names and bigger size packages.  

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Dollar Tree started testing “Dollar Tree Plus” items back in 2019. Those items rolled out to 2,500 locations by the end of 2022, and are now expected to be available at over half of Dollar Tree’s more than 8,000 stores by the end of 2023.

Some items in particular that are leading the way: a $3 bread that Dollar Tree claims hit "high double digit comp sales.” For comparison, a loaf of Walmart’s Great Value Bread comes in at around $1.30.

Additionally, Dollar Store recently started selling name-brand ice cream for $5 a carton at 1,400 stores, with plans to double its footprint by the end of the year. Target’s store brand ice cream, Favorite Day, is under $3 per carton.

Nonetheless, Richard McNeely, Dollar Tree’s chief merchandising officer, said that the ice cream sales yielded positive initial results, and that “It is now on pace to be the most-productive frozen door that we have." 

The real question is, what do customers think about Dollar Tree costing way more than a dollar? In one Reddit thread, u/Main-Swimmer9354 says, "I HATE Dollar Tree Plus and stopped shopping there when they kept adding more and more Plus sections. I used to shop at Dollar Tree because items were one dollar and the same price. Now it's 1.25 plus not all items are the same price. Customers put Plus items back on the wrong shelf so when you're shopping, it's easy to accidentally buy a $5 item that you thought was $1."

In another thread, one customer warns others to double check price tags before heading to the register (among other things you may not have known about the dollar store). 

“I swear, pretty much every other time I go in I see a customer attempting to buy a $5 item and being shocked and confused and throw a fit when it rings up as $5,” they write. “I can only imagine what those cashiers go through on a daily basis just from idiots who can't read massive signs and then have the audacity to blame the worker.”

Will this Dollar Tree Plus concept contribute to a growing list of products not to buy at the dollar store? Will it end up being a negative for most customers? If it’s always more expensive than Walmart and Target, then we’re not sold.

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