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CNN  reports that Dollar Tree plans to open 600 new stores this year - 400 under its Dollar Tree banner and 200 in its Family Dollar format.

Last year, it opened 400 stores, and it now has well over 15,000 locations.

The story notes that "the announcement comes as the pandemic has taken a toll on many retailers and forced thousands of stores to close. But dollar stores have surged as economically-strapped customers seek out bargains on food, household essentials and other items … Dollar Tree has lagged rival Dollar General in recent years. Dollar General has been opening roughly 1,000 stores a year and now has upwards of 16,000 US locations."

CNN writes that Dollar Tree also announced a plan "to crack the rural market by opening 50 new 'combination stores' that feature elements of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar outlets and sell a mix of merchandise — Dollar Tree's typical $1 seasonal items plus Family Dollar's food and essentials for more than $1.  The concept is targeted at towns with 3,000 to 4,000 people, and Dollar Tree sees an opportunity to open around 3,000 of these stores … Dollar Tree has a treasure hunt-like atmosphere in stores and caters to suburban, middle-income shoppers. It carries primarily seasonal goods, toys, stationary, home decor, kitchenware, and party items. Family Dollar is tailored to lower-income shoppers in rural and urban areas, and stocks more food and household basics than Dollar Tree."

KC's View:

The domination of the value segment by dollar stores is something that traditional retailers have to factor into their strategies and tactic - the thousands of stores that are being opened have the potential not just for absorbing sales but also setting the terms of competition by establishing what a lot of folks will see as appropriate prices.