Last September, the Dollar Tree franchise announced a permanent price raise in each of their 15,500+ stores by the end of the first quarter of 2022 (Dollar Tree). The changes will be mainly +25%, placing most prices at $1.25. Chief Executive Michael Witynski is sure that the new prices will be for the better, although many customers are not as fond of the idea.
In an interview with CNN Business, Witnynski assured that shoppers were responding favorably to the price increases. Witnyski said, “Our brand promise is that customers get great value for what they spend at Dollar Tree … regardless of the price point, whether it is $1, $1.25, $1.50.” The strict $1 price did not leave any flexibility for Dollar Tree to introduce new, larger, and better quality products. This also forced them to discontinue several products.
Additionally, Dollar Tree is the last of the big “dollar store” chains to sell merchandise for a dollar. CNN Business Writer Nathaniel Meyersohn wrote, “Dollar General, Family Dollar, 99 Cents Only and Dollarama … have sold stuff for more than $1 for years. Five Below … broke its strategy in 2019 when it started selling some items for up to $10.” Even though there is cause for the price raises, some shoppers are not happy about the changes. Many displeased shoppers have expressed their concerns and complaints via social media.
TikTok user @lilloworldwide posted a video of her breaking down the cost changes. The video went viral, gaining over 119,000 views and many comments complaining about the increase. In the video, she layed out the 19 items she bought, pointing out that the total came down to $25.18 (Daily Dot). Although the extra $4.46 plus tax might not affect everybody, it could be a major problem for low-income households. Many viewers pointed out that while prices are rising, employee wages and product quality do not seem to be getting better.
Dollar Tree was founded in 1986 with the idea to sell everything for $1, similar to the existing store called Everything’s A Dollar. Thirty-six years later, inflation has taken its toll on the company. $1 in 1986, when the company was founded, is equivalent in purchasing power to about $2.68 today, which results in a total price increase of 168.3% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Considering that, the price increase is a very logical decision for Dollar Tree to make.
Very soon at the Dollar Tree, the iconic “Everything’s $1” signs that are used to dot the aisles may be missing. By March 2022, all of the eponymous $1 prices will be increased across the country.