Do low dollar store prices hurt the community?

,news nation) – in the midst of an economy shaken by a pandemic, war and inflation, Consumers are turning to dollar stores To cut costs on essentials like groceries and toiletries. That’s good for companies’ bottom lines, but could devastate a sector more financially than previously thought, suggests research.

“There is actually growing evidence that these stores are almost never a byproduct of the economic crisis. They are the cause,” said Maryland State Sen. Mary Washington, whose Baltimore district covers the historic corridor of York Street and Greenmount Avenue. .

Herman’s Discount, a family-owned dollar The store, in the District of Washington, has sat on Greenmount Avenue for decades. In just 4 miles, there are other stores for $18.

“Here we are, a little mom-and-pop store, built it for 25 years,” said Ricky Herman, who had to pivot to selling uniforms and custom T-shirts to stay open. “As[the dollar store chain]moved forward, our usual merchandise sales[do]no longer exist. He’s gone.”

Dollar reserves are growing faster in areas with more diverse, poorer, more rural and more working classes, Research by Local Self-Reliance Institute (ILSR) in the 2018 show.

“Better deals” can be deceiving, says Tulsa, Oklahoma, councilperson Vanessa Hill-Harper, who has battled the proliferation of dollar stores in her predominantly black district.

“If you get the boxes and actually compare, the customer thinks they’re getting the same thing they’d find at a grocery store or Walmart, but they’re not,” she said. “They’re paying more for[the little boxes]. And these dollar stores are making millions, millions and millions of dollars at a time.”

Despite narrow food choices, these stores feed more Americans than Whole Foods, and have more stores than Walmart and McDonald’s combined, according to ILSR Research,

Dollar General, one of the two largest chains, is adding stores at the rate of one per day, as reported wall street journal, Dollar Tree, which also has Family Dollar, is not far behind.

“Grocery stores only have 1-3% profit margins — very, very thin, razor-thin profit margins,” Smith said. “I have a list of grocery stores that closed when dollar stores opened, saying, ‘When the doors were open, I started losing $1,000 a day,'” said the grocer. or ‘I lost a third of my sales in the first year and I couldn’t stand it anymore.'”

Experts say the impact is equally devastating for both urban and rural areas, where decades of disinvestment have already put small businesses at risk, and residents are forced to travel far and wide. have – if they are able – to access fresh food.

“Their strategy of saturating communities with multiple outlets is making it impossible for new grocers and other local businesses to take root and grow,” ILSR Report states.

check by US Department of Labor and OSHAas well as media outlets such as publicaDocumenting the long history of these stores causing a range of problems for the neighborhood, from local stores going out of business to health code violations to high crime rates.

This is the exact opposite of a traditional mom-and-pop store, in which the owners live and send their money back to their community.

Investigations by the US government and media outlets have found that dollar stores often cause harm to the communities in which they are located. Mary Hall/News Nation

Dollar General and Dollar Tree did not respond to requests for comment. Although, after retirement announcementThen-Chief Executive Todd Vasos indicated that Dollar General would continue its strategy of dissemination in the coming years.

“Together, we ushered in an era of unmatched growth,” he said. “Today, we are much more than a dollar store, proudly serving millions of Americans as our neighborhood general store.”

Councilperson Hill-Harper, State Sen. Washington, and many other towns and cities across the country have turned to the zoning law books to slow the growth of dollar stores, which allow the development of new stores within one or more will restrict or limit. Five miles of another.

Smith, who has been tracking these efforts for a forthcoming report, says that exploiting these technicalities is often the only way for rural or poorer communities to regulate stores like Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.

“If a store is going to come in and generate $2.2 million in sales a year, do we want to go to a dollar store that won’t provide great jobs, that’s probably going to be a crime magnet, he’s going to To extort money from the community and send it to corporate shareholders?” Smith said.

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