Hacker News Re-Imagined

Dollar Tree says US$1.25 price point to become new standard

  • 202 points
  • 7 days ago

  • @Krontab
  • Created a post
  • • 323 comments

Dollar Tree says US$1.25 price point to become new standard


@0des 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

This was inevitable, but rather than maintain the status quo or even introducing shrinkflation, they should have made the jump to 2 dollars. 1.25 is maintenance, and effectively we are still getting what a dollar used to get. 2 dollars would get us a bit more time (inflation is not going to stop) and the ability to introduce a (relative) more premium product assortment. I only mention this premium product range because the dollar stores near me now sell things such as headphones and phone accessories.

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@zwieback 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Ah, so I was wrong. I've been watching how much cooler things at the Dollar Tree were getting and predicted that eventually I'll buy my next car there. I guess I was wrong...

If they bump up the price of those fruity Tootsie Rolls I'll cry.

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@waynecochran 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Along these line why is the US still minting pennies? At some point we could just start rounding to the nearest nickel (or dime).

Also, why is gas always ab extra 9/10 of a penny? Reminds me of paying 3123 RON for a Big Mac in Romania -- that last digit is just noise at the consumer level.

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@tyingq 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

I suppose their employees would then be justified asking for a 25% raise?

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@smt88 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Not much is still a dollar there, and they use that gimmick to charge people more than other stores anyway[1].

1. https://boingboing.net/2021/08/17/this-chart-reveals-that-do...

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@ajb 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Tangentially related, I always find these stores amusing:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5521128,0.0516247,3a,75y,157...

For those who don't want to click on the link: There is a store called "99p Plus Extra", and 3 doors down is another one called "98p Plus Extra".

It would be interesting to know whether they both started as pound stores.

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@anamax 6 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Motel 6 used to be $6.

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@pengaru 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Loosely related anecdote:

For the past ~two months the IKEA nearest to me (Covina, CA) has been constantly out of stock for a table [0] I'd wanted, priced at $199.

Earlier this month I received a notification of it being in stock. That afternoon I made the trip to go pick one up, out of stock, shelves largely barren. Asked staff WTF? They'd received _one_ and it was immediately sold.

Still out of stock at that location today, but now when I check the site it's $229 (+15%), yay.

[0] https://www.ikea.com/us/en/p/norden-gateleg-table-birch-9042...

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@jonnycomputer 6 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Should have done $2. Math is easier, and its good for another 20 years.

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@AdmiralAsshat 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Been a couple years since I've stepped foot in a Dollar Tree, but by and large I don't recall very many things actually still being under a dollar, except maybe candy?

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@Mountain_Skies 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Do Canadians have Toonie Town stores?

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@waynecochran 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Pregnancy tests still a dollar? I went to dollar tree a lot when I was first married...

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@tmaly 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

I am always reminded of that song by Adam Sandler: Toll Booth Willie

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@gkoberger 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

I don't think that people in this thread appreciate how prevalent grocery shopping in dollar stores is. In the US, half of shoppers buy groceries from a dollar store. They do it because it's literally all they can afford anything else. There are more dollar stores than Walmart, Starbucks and McDonald’s combined.

"Kyle Dishman can’t afford to shop at the local grocery store anymore. Instead he goes to Dollar General, where he can make $40 stretch into a week’s worth of groceries and the occasional can of motor oil for his Chrysler 300."

Sources:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/08/20/growing-n...

https://www.mashed.com/224027/think-twice-before-buying-food...

EDIT: Of course not all things cost $1, but it's certainly weighted in that direction. You don't go to a dollar store for nice things; you do it because it's the only option for you. A lot of the responses seem to want to debate how poor people are making choices, and I think that misses the point.

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@pmdulaney 6 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Motel 6

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@werber 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Dollar tree is really interesting to me, they get remaindered books from all over the spectrum I would have heard of if it weren’t a stop on my walks. My most recent find was “when you die you won’t be scared to die”.

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@kumarsw 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

They have been selling for a dollar for 35 years. I'm really curious how their inventory has changed over this period. One 2020 dollar is 40 cents in 1985 dollars, but the cost of consumer goods has decreased significantly since 1985. So I wouldn't be surprised that their package sizes have not changed much.

Related trivia: Between 1886-1959, the price of a bottle of Coke was a nickel [1].

[1] https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2012/11/15/165143816/why-...

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@lgbfjb 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Let's Go Brandon!

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@h2odragon 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

They ought to bite the bullet and jump to "Tree Fiddy"

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@keyboardCowBoy 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Brandon's inflation is really just getting started. Anyone on a fixed income and low income earners are really going to get hurt. Hold on.

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@jmoak 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

They were so close to being called: The Dollar "Three".

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@dukeofdoom 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Honestly, it would probably be better if things sold for $4.

We have Dollorama in Canada. Things sell for $4. The jump in quality is noticeable from $1 to $4. The difference between useless junk, and something quite good, or at least good enough. Makes the shopping experience much better too.

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@sabhiram 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Looking forward to the day where we start printing 1000$ bills again.

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@hirundo 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

They should update the price point annually based on some simple algorithm, like the amount they pay an entry level employee per 20 minutes of work. That serves to index the unit price to purchasing power.

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@tibanne 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Soon $3.50 tree.

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@wly_cdgr 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Reminds me of the 99c DREAMS stores in Brooklyn. "Everything 99c and up!"

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@ourmandave 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

"Actually it's a buck and a quarter staff, but I'm not telling him that." ~ Daffy

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@sabujp 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

What this also doesn't mention is shrinkflation and quality reduction, so for many items you're probably paying closer to $1.50 - $1.75.

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@Marciplan 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Its transitory

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@claviska 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

I always thought the “Dollar Store” was a poor name given the fluctuation of the dollar over the years.

Then again, it’s a damn successful business. I wonder how much the name actually had to do with it becoming established vs. the price point.

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@taterbase 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Slightly off topic: The New Yorker had a really interesting article about dollar stores and how their presence can potentially harm communities rather than help.

https://archive.ph/O7EbO

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@RappingBoomer 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

i see dollar tree going broke...they used to sell groceries and sundry goods cheaper than the big stores...now they are more expensive with a lot of item as compared to the bigger stores...convenience stores with gas pumps can get away with that--everyone needs gas...but now that dollar store is no longer cheaper than the big stores, and have no gas pumps, what is the attraction?

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@vgeek 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

Dollar Tree can't be beat for things like cleaning supplies, commodity-type CPG items like soap and seasonal decorations-- but those items likely aren't where they make their money (they average a 30% GM, imported trinkets will have higher margin but lower volume than consumer staples). I've spoken to managers at multiple locations and the consensus top category by volume is candy, followed by paper goods. After that, the responses tend to vary.

Things like food are already a bad deal when compared to standard retailers-- they are typically smaller quantities at a much higher price per unit, and the products they carry are more processed so as to reduce costs and increase shelf-life. Then when a 1:1 comparison is made, they are often 30-50% more expensive (e.g. can of chunk light tuna for $1 vs $0.65 or less at Aldi). Going the route of 99 Center or the fast growing Five Below chain where they sell items for under $3 or $5, but with better quality items would have been an interesting approach, but that probably encroaches too much on their "up-market" Family Dollar locations? All being told, I wonder the price elasticity of candy and hyperprocessed foods are.

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@janmo 7 days

Replying to @Krontab 🎙

In Europe we also have 1 Euro shops that now sell for 1.10€

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