Dollar Store Chains Make Up Nearly One Third of All U.S. Store Openings So Far This Year

Retail closures may be plaguing department stores as of late, but discount chains are on the upswing, with plans to open hundreds of new locations this year.

According to a new report from Coresight Research, dollar store chains, including Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar, have announced that that they will open a collective 1,626 new stores. That’s out of a total 4,799 of announced store openings in 2021 so far, compared with the 3,597 announced in May.

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Gas station chain Murphy USA, Five Below, Ace Hardware, Foot Locker, Aldi, and Burlington Stores also topped the list of the retailers planning to open the most stores this year. The results highlight a consumer attraction to discount and low-price stores, in part due to high levels of unemployment and a general spending hesitancy from the pandemic.

Dollar General announced that it would add 1,035 new stores in 2021. To attract higher income shoppers, Dollar General unveiled Popshelf, a new retail concept that offers accessories, decor, cosmetics, household supplies and more, last year. Some of Dollar General’s new stores are expected to bear the Popshelf name.

Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, plans to add 393 Dollar Tree stores and 198 Family Dollar stores this year.

On the other hand, the report also noted that major U.S. retailers have announced 4,844 store closures so far in 2021, compared to 2,191 closures last year. The list of closures in 2021 is topped by the bankrupt Christopher & Banks and Francesca’s, which plan to close 449 and 342 stores, respectively. Convenience store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard and 7-Eleven also topped the list of retailers with the most closures.In addition to their openings, each of the three dollar chain stores also announced store closures as well. Family Dollar said it would close 44 stores, Dollar General said it would close 31, and Dollar Tree said it would close 28.

Amid the closures and openings, the retail industry is experiencing a labor shortage. In June, 632,000 workers quit retail jobs. To attract new talent, companies such as Lululemon, Under Armour, Tapestry and more have announced wage increases in recent months.

Ahead of the holidays, DSW parent Designer Brands Inc. said it would give more than 7,300 hourly store associates a special $200 bonus in advance of the upcoming holiday season.

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