99 Cent Store Close All 371 Locations as Dollar Tree Spikes Prices to $7, Leaving Few Options for Low Income Shoppers

Two of the largest dollar chains have announced massive changes, leaving customers highly concerned. Discount stores like the Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Only Stores, and Family Dollar are how many people feed their families, but the price of doing business with such affordable prices is becoming too high.

Source: Las Vegas Review

The 99 Cent Only Store announced that they would be closing all 371 locations, citing inflation and theft as the culprits. Their store locations are spread across four states: Arizona, Nevada, California, and Texas.

Source: Deli Market News

The CEO, Mike Simoncic expressed that it was “an extremely difficult decision and is not the outcome we expected or hoped to achieve.” He went on to explain the factors that entered this decision, such as the impact of COVID-19 and how customer demand changed so drastically.

Source: WJS.com

Also, he explained that theft and inflation were large contributors to the decision. Shoplifting has become unmanageable for many chains such as Walmart, Target, CVS, and more. Many stores credit this increase in theft to the implementation of self checkout machines.

Source: Reddit/ JN9899

These machines allow customers to check-out autonomously without the watchful eye of a store employee. But it also allows customers to scan the wrong items and shoplift easily, thanks to the lack of supervision.

Source: ABC10

Between self-checkout kiosks and limited workforce due to high labor costs, the 99 Cent Only Stores have found themselves in a position where they can no longer afford to operate, especially with the merchandise priced where it is.

Source: Merica2.0

Sadly, this has become reality for many chains and small business, particularly in California. The minimum wage hike from $16 to $20 and inflation have become unmanageable for many business operators, forcing them to shut their doors for good.

Source: Inform NNY

This chain as well as the other stores which promise to keep items below one dollar are imperative for low income Americans. They offer affordable groceries, toiletries, toys, decor, and more. And many consumers rely on these stores to purchase these items, especially with inflation at an all-time-high.

Source: KTLA

Tragically, when these businesses can no longer afford to operate, it risks leaving some areas in food deserts, where they have no options for fresh groceries within miles of their homes.

Source: FlavorsQA

The chain just recently celebrated their 42nd birthday and now are already starting the process of liquidation. Inventory is being throw out and locations are already int he process of shutting down completely.

Source: News CN

This comes around the same time that Dollar Tree, another popular dollar store announced they would be raising prices in their stores. The announcement was accompanied by a large outcry from consumers who are worried that the Dollar Tree will become another Walmart or Target, as opposed to the affordable grocery store it is meant to be.

Source: Graficapress

They announced that they would be increasing some items to be as much $7! For years Dollar Tree had all their items priced at $1 and then $1.25. But now, they are planning to do a traditional pricing strategy, where items will cost anywhere from $1 to $7.

Source: News CN

Shoppers are outraged at the announcement. One stated, “I’d rather just get everything at Walmart.” Many customers took to the company’s social medias to express their frustrations.

Source: Chain Store Age

CEO Rick Dreiling assures customers the changes will not be put into effect right away. They will start with about 300 items, priced between $1.50 and $7 and this will allow them to provide some products that they were previously unable to, such as coffee creamer.

Source: KSNV 3 News

But of course, as prices continue to rise many customers will be unable to afford the stores and while the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have many more locations than the 99 Cent Only Store, the question remains if they are heading towards a similar fate amid staggering inflation.