What I Learned This Week

A wave of local U.S. governments are regulating dollar stores. Will their anti-corporate sentiment become a wider contagion?

The last decade has not been kind to most retailers, but dollar stores have thrived (see WILTW Oct. 5, 2017). Since 2011, two dominant discount chains, Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which acquired Family Dollar in 2015, have ballooned from 20,000 locations to 30,000 total, according to new data from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). By comparison, Walmart, America’s largest retailer, has 4,700 U.S. stores. This means there are now more dollar stores than McDonald’s and Walmart locations combined. As Dollar General chief executive Todd Vasos told investors last year: “The economy is continuing to create more of our core customer.” And dollar stores aim to…

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