CHICAGO — Dollar stores are not just for lower- and middle-income shoppers. In fact, half (50%) of respondents from the highest-income households ($150,000-plus) say that they are shopping at dollar stores the same amount this year compared with last year, with 10% saying they are doing so more than last year, according to new research from Mintel. Only 32% of respondents from the highest-income households claim not to shop at dollar stores.
“Dollar and discount stores benefit from continued consumer caution regarding spending, as well as an improved level of acceptance and satisfaction of the products offered and the shopping experience in these channels," said Ali Lipson, retail analyst at Mintel. "However, some consumers do have a perception of lesser quality offered at these retailers, thus choosing other channels over dollar and discount stores. In order to reverse this perception, dollar and discount stores need to promote brand-name offerings to those who are unaware that well-known brands are offered at these stores. "
Some 78% of dollar-store shoppers say that stores are conveniently located, and almost three-quarters (74%) of shoppers think that dollar stores offer better prices than other retailers. But convenience and price aren't the only features driving consumers to dollar stores: 59% of respondents say these stores are pleasant to shop in, while 54% believe brands and products sold at dollar stores are just as good as other retailers.
However, income shoppers do have an issue with the brands and products sold. Dollar store shoppers who live in households earning less than $25K are satisfied with the selection (64%), while only 34% of those in $150K+ households find the brands and products at dollar stores just as good as other retailers.
Younger men and women, those ages 18 years to 34 years, are more likely than those in other age groups to say they are shopping at dollar stores more often this year compared to last year (33% of men and 31% of women versus 24% of all respondents).
"Younger consumers are an important group to target for dollar and discount stores. This group is likely to be from lower-income households, as many may be students and others who are starting out in their careers and could benefit from the discount prices and convenience of these venues," Lipson said.