Shopping dollar stores is one of the few shopping experiences left that barely take a bite out of my budget. After several years of ignoring the dollar store near my home, the recession sent me to its cut-rate aisles where I came to realize it was one of the best bets in town.
According to a survey by America’s Research Group, I’m not the only one who enjoys this unguilty pleasure.
The recent survey found dollar stores are the "third most popular retail category among shoppers, trailing only discount stores and drug stores in overall percentage of customers."
Expanding product lines are credited with some of the popularity. Chains now offer everything from grocery items and kitchen supplies to gift wrap and Christmas ornaments. Many also carry merchandise by major brands, further convincing consumers they need not pay more for the same quality.
The pent up demand for needed products has also led to increases in department store, home improvement and membership warehouse club traffic. All benefited from the consumer mindset to replace worn out essentials at the very best price.
At the same time, retailers of non-essential products suffered major losses. Merchants selling home accessories, bed and bath products, toys and jewelry "all saw fewer shoppers and experienced decreased sales, in comparison with 2009 levels."
The survey tracked the shopping habits of 1,000 American consumers for a single month.
America’s Research Group tracks consumer buying habits. For more detailed information, visit AmericasResearchGroup.com.