Behind the increase of Dollar Store prices

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A Dollar Store in Oakton, VA, selling items for $1.25 and more.

Brinda Patel

“I was born in India, and one of the first stores I actually remember visiting was the Dollar Tree.,” said Anshika Bansal, an eighth-grader on the X-Treme team. “And with my five-year-old logic, you could get four gumballs from the mall’s quarter machine, and a whole ten-pack of gumballs at the Dollar Store for the same price. My mind was blown.” 

Anshika Bansal is one of the many students at Carson who is not only intrigued by the variety of items sold at the Dollar Tree, but she’s also worried for the company’s future.

The Dollar Tree, which first opened in 1986 in Norfolk, Virginia, remains a popular store today in many parts of the United States. This is because of its wide variety of products sold there, from the frozen and hot meals sold to the plethora of toys to choose from. The company has also gained popularity because everything sold there was only a dollar, hence their title.

But his isn’t true anymore, during the November of 2021, the company announced their plans to raise their prices to $1.25 on most of their products. And according to CNN Business, a financial news website, this decision to end the $1 deals after 35 years and raise prices by 25% or more has been one of the worst decisions in recent retail history.

Some say this was bound to happen, especially regarding the recent economic changes to the global economy and the predictions of a possible recession happening in the future. And because of this reasoning, many people aren’t too upset with Dollar Tree increasing prices for items at their stores.

“The junk at the Dollar Store is still worth the same.,” said Mr. Kevin Reif, a science teacher for the Dolphins team. “It’s just the dollar that doesn’t have the same value as before. That’s what inflation is.”

According to Business Insider, an American business-related website, many analysts state that the increase of price at the Dollar Tree allows them to not only make more money but be able to offer a better variety of higher quality items whilst keeping their prices relatively low.

Nonetheless, many people lean towards the opinion that the increase of the Dollar Tree prices is actually a bad thing, and for many reasons. Some believe that adding an extra quarter or two to the price at the Dollar Tree brings a disadvantage for many low-income families in America as just a few quarters can make a large difference in cost when added up.

“[The Dollar Store’s] whole strategy is to go to a neighborhood that has a lot of poor people who don’t have access to transportation and can only walk to and from the Dollar Store,” said Charles Bromley, co-director of Shaker Square Alliance, in an article written in 2019 by The Progressive Magazine.

“I wish they wouldn’t have [increased their prices] because most of their shoppers are people who are not getting paid a lot of money,” Leniza Costa, a beauty influencer based in Rhode Island, told CNN Business earlier this year.

CNN Business also states that the Dollar Tree is now growing at slower rates when compared to previous years, mainly because of the price increase. They’re also becoming less popular when compared to other discount competitors like Walmart and Five Below.

“Rich or poor, everyone is facing the effects of inflation.,” stated Ms. Anne Thrasher, a civics teacher for the Dolphins team. “But maybe the increase of price at the Dollar Store allows for better quality products!”