Dollar Tree store fans rage over price increases at Chicago, other US locations, online via TikTok app, other social media

New York – “I’m not happy!”

“You don’t sit right with me.”

“calamity”.

“Sick to my stomach.”

CNN reports that Dollar Tree’s recent decision to end its $1 prices after 35 years and raise most items in stores to $1.25 sparked an angry response from many loyal customers on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.

Vloggers with hundreds of thousands of followers have posted videos of their reactions to the price hikes – or entering a store for the first time and seeing the ubiquitous green and yellow Dollar Tree “everything $1” circles replaced with $1.25 signs.

Some shoppers began calling the chain “the $1.25 tree” sarcastically and said it should change its name.

The criticism highlights the dangers incurred by Dollar Tree — the last of the big dollar store chains that sell almost everything for $1 — when it ditched its $1 brand identity.

“I hope they don’t because most shoppers are people who don’t make a lot of money,” said Liniza Costa, a beauty influencer in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. dollar tree.

Costa won’t be shopping at the Dollar Tree much and instead will look to buy $1 items at Walmart.

“This is the worst time to overprice, when everything else is too much,” she said.

We won’t know for sure if customers are turning their backs on the new prices for the Dollar Tree until it announces its quarterly results in the coming weeks. But there are signs that the move may put some shoppers off.

See also | Dollar Tree will sell more items for more than $1

A weekly online survey of nearly 500 consumers conducted by Coresight Research, a retail research and advisory firm, showed a 6.2% decrease from December 27 to January 3 in the number of customers who said they purchased non-food items at the Dollar Tree compared to the previous two weeks. A steep drop of 12.2% was recorded among shoppers aged 45 to 60. Other chains, including Walmart and Dollar General, did not see similar declines in surveys.

Dollar Tree added prices $1.25 to more than 2,000 stores in December (it has about 8,700 US stores), and Coresight said in a report that “the decline in shopper numbers appears to coincide with higher prices.” The company cautioned against “excessive reliance on a one-week data point,” but said the latest figures “may reflect an exodus of shoppers on the back of” price changes.

Dollar Tree did not respond to requests for comment.

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One dollar was almost sacred to the Dollar Tree Company, which sells toys, home furnishings, kitchenware, holiday decorations, stationery, party supplies, arts and crafts, books, food, household items, and other items.

McConne Brock, founder of Dollar Tree, said in his 2017 biography, “I viewed the concept of a dollar only as sacred. It was everything. Without it, we’d be just another discount retailer.”

“Get rid of the dollar,” he wrote, “I thought, and we’d give up our place.”

As recently as August, Dollar Tree CEO Michael Wittinsky said the company is committed to paying $1. “This dollar price point is going to be more important than ever,” he said in a call with an analyst.

Selling everything for a dollar was also easy for Dollar Tree store operations. Workers didn’t have to spend time constantly changing bids in aisles or signs on shelves, and it was easy for customers with tight budgets to keep track of them while shopping.

Dollar Tree raised prices because its business was under pressure by having to keep everything under $1. Labor, transportation, fuel, merchandise, and freight costs rose, which reduced the company’s profits.

Some merchandise also suffered as a result of the $1 strategy. The company said in November that the chain had been forced to discontinue many of its “customer favorites,” particularly in canned and frozen foods. The price increase will give Dollar Tree flexibility to reintroduce these items, expand its selection, and bring in new products to attract customers, according to the company.

Dollar Tree began selling $1.25 and $1.50 merchandise in some stores and said it had received positive customer feedback about the test, leading the company to announce in November that it would move to $1.25 in all of its stores.

On December 12, in response to an activist investor pushing for broader changes to the company, including the nomination of an all-new board, the Dollar Tree board said the rate hike had been successful so far.

The Board of Directors said in a statement that the performance of the $1.25 stores “continues to validate our previous testing and demonstrate the success of the company’s strategy and execution.” The board said the move to $1.25 “was not a decision the company took lightly, and required careful planning, including to ensure it continued to provide a meaningful assortment of maximum value” to shoppers.

But some retail analysts said the decision was rushed, jeopardizing the brand’s image and causing shoppers to turn to competitors such as Dollar General, which sells about 20% of its products for $1.

The price change “sad” Scent Maven, a vlogger who posts information about her purchases at the Dollar Tree and other stores, and will lead her to shop there less. (She spoke on condition that her name be withheld from the story to protect her identity.)

“We were all, in the Dollar Tree community, hopefully that wouldn’t happen,” she said, adding that one dollar is a price “you can count on.”

“There wasn’t any math work in your head or anything like that,” she said. “You know you can go to the Dollar Tree with $10 and come up with 10 items.”

Although the Dollar Tree Company has put up new signs in stores saying it will offer new items and “more excitement” at $1.25, it hasn’t seen the change yet.

“It’s like they promise you something more for 25 cents. But it’s not. They are all the same quality and types of products.”

(The-CNN-Wire & 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner company. All rights reserved.)

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