My Dollar Store Experience

Here’s my thesis right off the bat.  I don’t know who runs or owns Dollar Stores, but if they ran all retail businesses, world poverty would practically disappear!

Alright, a bit of exaggeration and humour there.  However, I am not a shopper and know little about the retail world but a brief trip to a Dollar Store this week left me bewildered about the numbers of it all.

I stopped in and picked up 5 items.  While they advertise that most things in the store are no more than $1.25 ($1US), I didn’t actually believe it.  I picked up a decent sized bottle of shampoo, two 300g cans of peanuts and two deodorant sticks (made by Colgate Palmolive).  I took it to the check-out and sure enough… bill $6.25 plus tax.  There had to be a mistake but those scanners never lie!

I decided to reprice my purchases at the greatest discounter of them all: Wal-Mart.   Total price:  $19.38 vs $6.25 at the Dollar Store for similar items.  I was bewildered for a good reason, and the price difference was even greater than I expected.   What’s even more surprising, is that other alternatives elsewhere could have ended up at over $40!

What’s going on here?  I have no idea.  I presume the Dollar Stores are buying castoffs, unpopular products, liquidations,non branded products,  whatever.  Regardless, if they were to run all retail businesses, imagine what your costs would be like.  At the ratios against the Walmart prices, you could buy a nice little Chevy Cruz…..instead of $25,000, you could pick up a similar no-name car for $8,000!  Your monthly grocery bill, instead of $700, would be $225!   Let’s put the Dollar Stores in charge of  the world’s retailing!   🙂


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