“Dollar store” seems like a simple phrase, but the two words do not have a fixed meaning. The resulting confusion can make it difficult to know where to shop and what to expect. Here is a simple overview of four different stores often referred to as dollar stores.
Family Dollar and Dollar General are Not Dollar Stores
Family Dollar and Dollar General stores are conveniently located in many neighborhoods across the country. Both stores offer household essentials and food products at reasonable prices and accept manufacturer coupons. Although these stores make it easy to save time and money while shopping for the basics, the merchandise prices vary with items well-above and below one dollar.
Dollar and More Stores
These stores often have a large sign indicating they are dollar stores. Take a closer look and you will notice a smaller sign with a plus sign, the words “and more” or a similar qualifier. Avoid an unpleasant surprise at the cash register by paying attention to the signs and price tags throughout the store.
Target Dollar Spot
Target certainly is not a dollar store, but it offers a selection of dollar-store type merchandise. Look for the Target Dollar Spot located between the cash registers and front entrance. The display features assorted items, ranging from kitchen gear to socks. The selection changes frequently and includes seasonal offerings, such as Mother’s Day cards and Easter toys.
Most items cost one dollar, but there is not one set price for products in the Target Dollar Spot and some items cost more, usually two to three dollars. Target eventually clearances this merchandise, but the bargains and trendy items tend to sell out long before then. Pay attention to the prices in other areas of the store because similar products are sometimes a better buy in other departments. This especially true of coupon-eligible and clearance goods.
What is a dollar store?
Quite simply, a dollar store is a store that sells everything for one dollar. They typically do not accept coupons and sometimes have limited payment options. Some do not offer returns, while others have very restrictive short-dated return policies.
The now defunct Mott’s 5 and 10 retained that name long after prices grew beyond nickels and dimes. However, the name was appropriate because it conveyed the old-fashioned type of merchandise and sewing notions available there. The name dollar store seems self-explanatory, but it has grown into a confusing idiom.