These Budget-Friendly Stores Make Up Nearly Half of All Openings So Far This Year

Dollar stores have accounted for nearly half of all brick-and-mortar openings announced so far this year.

That’s according to a new report from Coresight Research, which found that major retailers in the United States have collectively revealed plans to debut 3,597 new stores in 2021, compared with the 2,472 announced launches in the prior year period. About 45%, or 1,628 of those locations, noted the advisory firm, will be under the Dollar General and Dollar Tree banners.

In the year to date, Dollar General Corp. announced that it would add 1,035 new outposts to its total store base of 16,979. During its fourth-quarter conference call in mid-March, CEO Todd Vasos explained that the retailer would “accelerate our pace of new store openings” for Popshelf, which features accessories, decor, cosmetics, household supplies, party goods and more — with roughly 95% of items priced at $5 or less.

In addition, the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company intends to introduce two new store formats that it had tested out last year: The first, which has a selling space of 8,500 square feet (compared to about 7,300 square feet in a traditional Dollar General store), will become its “base prototype for nearly all new stores” as it seeks to improve assortment in stores. The second is even larger, with approximately 9,500 square feet of selling space. Overall, the chain has about 2,900 real estate projects in the works, including openings, remodelings and relocations.

Another discount store looking to expand its physical fleet this year is Dollar Tree Inc., which intends to open 393 units under its namesake chain and 200 under Family Dollar. (Dollar Tree has a store base of 7,741, while Family Dollar operates 7,865 outposts.) In early March, when it posted its fourth-quarter financial results, the Chesapeake, Va.-based company shared that it would continue to work on expanding its brick-and-mortar fleet as well as roll out a new “combination store format,” which debuted in nearly 50 small towns and rural communities last year.

Among the other companies opening stores this year include off-pricers Burlington Stores Inc., The TJX Companies Inc. and Ross Stores Inc.; big-box chain Target Corp.; shoe retailers Payless and Shoe Carnival Inc.; athletic behemoths Nike Inc. and Lululemon Athletica Inc.; retail groups Gap Inc., Urban Outfitters Inc. and Genesco Inc.; fast-fashion giant H&M; Dick’s Sporting Goods; sportswear retailer Foot Locker; as well as shoemakers Skechers USA Inc. and Birkenstock USA LP.

In contrast, Coresight Research reported that major U.S. retailers have announced 3,395 store closures so far this year, versus the prior year’s announced 2,191 shutdowns. Bankrupt chains Francesca’s Holdings Corp., Ascena Retail Group Inc. and RTW Retailwinds Inc. make up a respective 342, 195 and 75 of those locations.

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