Another day, another dollar store

A new year has officially kicked off, shoppers, and it’s looking like one that will, once again, be marked by unimpressive economic growth. That’s not great news for retailers. Or, at least, most retailers.

Dollar stores, on the other hand, appear to be doing better than ever.

I blogged about the dollar store phenomenon back in October 2010 (Taking over the world, one dollar at a time), and well over a year later, this discount segment of the retail business simply seems to continue gaining momentum.

Everything for a Dollar Store, a chain with about 80 locations across the country, recently opened two new GTA stores: one in North York Sheridan Mall and one at Cloverdale Mall in Etobicoke. It’s planning additional Toronto-area stores for the year ahead, along with a slew of other new ones across the country.

Other dollar store chains are experiencing similar success, regularly opening new stores and coping with impressively (or, for customers, frustratingly) long lines at existing stores.

The appeal of these stores is hardly surprising.

Just yesterday, I ventured out to Shoppers Drug Mart only to find that the product I needed cost $4.29 – substantially more than I remember paying for the same product a couple months ago. Since I was in the mood for a little comparison shopping, I stopped by Dollarama before making my purchase, and sure enough, I found the same product (in a different brand) for exactly $1.00.

I continue to be baffled at how these companies turn enough of a profit to fuel such impressive growth when their prices are so substantially below those of other retailers.

However they do it,  it certainly seems to be working. And as long as the economy continues to struggle, I suspect dollar stores will continue to enjoy booming growth in business.

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