Surging profits and a 6.7% first quarter same-store sales increase prompted Dollar General to raise its full year profit forecast by three cents. Family Dollar is scheduled to report comparable results later this month as the small discount store remains on a roll.
Walk into a Target store anywhere in the U.S. and it’s a safe bet there will be at least a few customer rummaging through the bins of single price point merchandise in the Dollar Spot located just inside store entrances. The ever changing assortment’s treasure hunt appeal and single price point value proposition are simply too much for many customers to bypass. It is enough to make wanna-be merchants wonder if further expansion of the concept makes sense for Target, especially considering the raging success companies such as Dollar General and Family Dollar are having.
Momentum remains on the side of Family Dollar, as the company late Thursday reported another quarter of record sales and profits and the opening of 101 units, which included its first stores in California.
Dollar stores get a lot of the credit for negatively impacting Walmart’s U.S. sales the past few years and it’s no wonder. The big three – Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree – have grown rapidly and collectively operate more than 20,000 conveniently located units that offer sharp prices on an expanding assortment of food and consumables.
Family Dollar disappointed its investors this week with a third-quarter earning report in which gross margin pressures caused the company to report earnings per share of 91 cents that were four cents shy of analysts’ consensus estimates. The operator of 6,900 stores also said its 4.7% same-store sales increase was short of guidance of 5% to 7% and then used the occasion to lower fourth-quarter sales and earnings forecasts.