I'm not sure if it's a New England thing or a growing up in America thing, but going to the local Dollar Store as a kid is a core memory for me.

Anything felt possible at the Dollar Store. I could fill up an entire basket with goodies, and the likelihood of my mom protesting was low because "Hey! Everything is a dollar!" We had a Family Dollar in the same plaza as The Paper Store and T.J. Maxx in my hometown, so this plaza was what Saturday morning dreams were made of.

You might think all stores with 'Dollar' in the title are performing about the same at this point in time. But when it comes to Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar General, it turns out not all 'Dollar' Stores are created equal.

According to USA Today, around 600 Family Dollar stores will close in the US this year after Dollar Tree (its parent company) announced that it experienced a significant underperformance in 2023.

This is Dollar General's time to shine and really corner the bargain shopper market. The cost of living isn't going down anytime soon, and as long as this reigns true, stores like Dollar General will continue to be valuable to Americans.

Getty Images
Getty Images

QZ.com says Dollar General plans to open approximately 800 new stores, remodel 1,500, and relocate 85 over the course of 2024.

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In addition of opening new stores, Dollar General plans to implement some new strategies to enhance their customer experience. If you frequent any of the 48 DG locations in the state of New Hampshire, you might notice that the stores are often in disarray, and you might find yourself searching for an employee and wondering, "Does anyone work here?" They have heard your feedback, and are making the necessary corrections.

According to CNN.com, you will see more Dollar General workers on the floor in the coming months, and you'll see stores shy away from self-checkout.

This makes me happy, because although the idea of self checkout is great in theory, something usually goes wrong and you need a human being to help you. The whole ordeal ends up taking longer than it would have if you had a person helping you check out to begin with.

Dollar General was leading the charge when it came to self checkout stations, betting that it would reduce its labor costs and speed up checkout for customers. But in reality, they actually saw more shoplifting, employee theft, damaged products, administrative errors, and online fraud.

Hopefully this new strategy will help improve these problems and make the Dollar General shopping experience a little more pleasant for the customer. Time will tell!

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