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Dollar Store Wars Hit Home

Dollar Store Wars Hit Home

The Farmersville Planning Commission on Aug. 15 will hear a proposal to build a 20,000 square foot outlet for fast growing retailer Dollar General who wants to build on Farmersville Blvd, behind Jack N The Box.

Dollar General would locate right across the street from the new 8000 sf Family Dollar store in town that opened only last month. Each will now compete with a Dollar Tree retail outlet down the street.

“Looks like the battle of the dollar stores” says city planner Karl Schoettler.

Farmersville is not the only Tulare County town where ‘dollar store wars’ are breaking out.

Tulare now has three proposed Family Dollar locations with permits pending at city hall even as Dollar General now has submitted plans for a store in town. Dollar Tree is already here.

In Woodlake, Dollar General has filed an application to build a 12,000 sf store on Naranjo, Hwy 216 at Pepper – that would replace the old Copeland Lumber quonset hut that now houses an auto parts store, says city planner Greg Collins.

Also, Family Dollar will open a new store in Woodlake next to First Choice Foods around Aug 9.

Farmersville already has a Dollar Tree and 99 cent store, each on Farmersville Blvd. Rumored to be coming to Exeter is Family Dollar as well.

So what’s going on here?

Nationwide dollar stores are luring a lot more customers these days and it is not just rock bottom prices and the recession that is drawing  customers, experts say.

Consider that publicly-traded Dollar General plans to open hundreds of new stores in California this year after building their distribution warehouse at the base of the Grapevine earlier this year.

Analysts say dollar stores that used to be on the shabby side, have upgraded their stores and their merchandise to brand name items customers are familiar with. Dollar stores have proliferated to make it  convenient to shop without piling the family in the car for that longer trip to a Walmart or Kmart.

Some dollar stores like Dollar General are offering more food items – even a line of groceries at their larger stores like the proposed Farmersville store.

The neighborhood dollar store is becoming like the neighborhood drug store,likely to have a wide variety of every day supplies, health and beauty aids,gadgets and whatever.

Meanwhile it is not just families on a tight budget that want a bargain.

Today these stores are upgraded and poised to “have the greatest impact on the food and drug retailers, as the dollar stores’ convenience and competitive pricing gives consumers another option for making convenient purchases,” according to Deborah Weinswig’s Citi report, “Dollar Stores Well Positioned for Success.”

The stores’ popularity explain why their stock is doing well and why management continues a rapid expansion plan. Meanwhile, small towns like Farmersville, Exeter and Woodlake can expect 7 to 15 jobs per store at these upstart chains and these cites can keep more of their tax dollars at home.

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