Dollar Stores Sign of Struggling Communities?

I wrote here about Dollar Stores HERE, and this post adds some support to the idea that when Dollar stores appear it is a sign of a struggling community.  According to Business Insider Report, Dollar Store customers are much poorer than WalMart Customers.

Wal-Mart’s customers are considerably wealthier than shoppers at dollar stores like Family Dollar and Dollar General, according to new data.

Four in 10 Family Dollar shoppers have a household income of less than $25,000, which is slightly higher than the poverty level for a family of four, a survey from the consulting firm Kantar Retail shows.

By comparison, 27% of Wal-Mart shoppers’ households earn less than $25,000.

Overall, Wal-Mart customers have an average household income of $53,125, which is in line with the median income for all U.S. households last year.

Shoppers at Family Dollar and Dollar General earn about $8,000 less annually, with average household incomes of $44,972 and $45,640, respectively.

Do you think the appearance of Dollar Stores in the community  are a sure sign of an  economically  struggling community?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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8 Responses to Dollar Stores Sign of Struggling Communities?

  1. Sean says:

    This is an interesting observation about Dollar stores. The average household income of their shoppers is $45K and their cashiers make $8/hr. For Walmart it’s $53k and $9/hr while at Costco it’s $96k and $14/hr. How many Costco stores are in your county?


    • Russ Steele says:

      We do not have any Costco stores in Nevada County, our General Plan prohibits “big box stores” so we have to rely on little box stores like Dollar General. A Costco is going in just across the southern County line in Placer County , which will attract a lot of Nevada County customers who now drive to Rosevile to shop at Costco.


      • Sean says:

        I had always felt that the Walmart’s success was an inverse of the state of the economy. Shopping there was a way people could save a few dollars when times got tight. Costco is successful because it has a relatively small number of items (~4000) that are sold in larger than normal quantities and they make their margins on volume. Costco has nearly $600K of sales per employee. Walmart is a store that stocks a lot of items (~100,000) so there is great selection and they hold the line on costs with an efficient distribution network. Their sales are $218K per employee. The Dollar stores are short on selection like Costco (10-12,000 items) and they are located in strip malls with relatively small footprints. Their sales are only $185K per employee. With the Dollar stores undercutting Walmart for the lower income consumer, I guess we’ll need to look to Family Dollar or Dollar General to be the inverse economic barometer going forward.


  2. Barry Pruett says:

    What would Cartman write about if it weren’t for The Union? Not much of a newsflash that we have a lot of poor people in Nevada County. We do not have a lot of jobs with people leaving California instead of moving up the hill. This trend will continue until the legislature and the governor figure out that bloated budgets and hyper-regulation is a “slight” drag on the economy.


  3. RL Crabb says:

    Jeff Pelline discovers poor people in Nevada County. What a scoop!


  4. jeffpelline says:

    Hey Russ, what would you write about if it wasn’t for my blog? LOL.


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