Dollar Stores Planning For Permanent American Underclass

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by theRaven, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. theRaven

    theRaven Well-Known Member

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    Dollar-store chains like Dollar General and Dollar Tree are rapidly expanding by targeting the poor, particularly in predominantly black neighborhoods and rural areas, while planning for a permanent American underclass, according to a new report from the community development nonprofit Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

    Though dollar stores sell no fresh vegetables, fruits or meat (Dollar General is testing produce in fewer than 1 percent of its stores), they are quickly becoming one of the primary ways lower-income Americans eat, with the combined grocery sales of Dollar General and Dollar Tree outstripping Whole Foods by more than $10 billion.

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    Stacy [email protected]



    Here’s a remarkable fact: Dollar stores are now feeding more Americans than Whole Foods is – even though most dollar stores have no fresh food, only a limited selection of packaged items. 1/


    Selection is limited to processed or canned foods such as cereals, microwaveable meals and snacks. A section on the Dollar General website for “Fresh Food” advertises Banquet Mega Bowls fried chicken, frozen pizzas, Lunchables, Hot Pockets, blocks of cream cheese and pumpkins.

    There are nearly 30,000 dollar stores nationwide, more than Starbucks and Walmart combined, and up from 20,000 in 2011. Dollar General and Dollar Tree are planning 20,000 more. Dollar General is opening four stores a day, a rate the company is expected to maintain through 2019.

    Their customers are made up of three demographics: poor people, black people and rural people. The ILSR documented, with Tulsa, Oklahoma, as its test case, how the presence of dollar store chains can correlate even more strongly with race than income, with locations opening in food deserts historically neglected by supermarket chains.

    [​IMG]INSTITUTE FOR LOCAL SELF-RELIANCE

    “Essentially what the dollar stores are betting on in a large way is that we are going to have a permanent underclass in America,” real estate analyst Garrick Brown told Bloomberg in 2017.

    Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos agreed, telling The Wall Street Journal, “The economy is continuing to create more of our core customers.” In other words, the more lower-income Americans struggle, the better dollar stores do.

    The market tends to agree as well, with Dollar General Corp. valued far above the largest grocery chain, Kroger Co., which still has revenue five times that of its dollar-store competitor. One reason is the dollar-store profit margin, which is significantly higher than grocery stores thanks in part to small-quantity packaging designed to keep prices low even as the value drops, providing customers less for their money.

    That isn’t a result of consumer irrationality, but rather is a necessity for lower-income households, whose pinched budgets don’t allow for bulk purchases. Dollar General store manager Damon Ridley spoke to the Journal about helping older children put together enough food for younger siblings with scarce dollars. “I am more of an outreach manager,” he said.

    Of course, Dollar General isn’t the only company riding these trends. In 2017, Coca-Cola created a Dollar General exclusive: soda cans with military-aimed labels like “Service Member” and “Military Spouse”—an innovative response to the 1.5 million veterans living in poverty.

    More than a harbinger of how corporations will profit from a permanently stratified United States (and work to perpetuate that stratification: Dollar General joined other retailers in lobbying for the Republican attempt to fully repeal Obamacare earlier this year), dollar stores are both symptom and disease.

    The ILSR, which authored the report, was founded in 1974 to find localized solutions to environmental and economic problems, and promotes community banking, municipal broadband, composting and localized solar power programs. Its research into Dollar General focused on localized harm and possible community responses, documenting how the opening of a dollar store can cause local grocers to lose up to 30 percent of sales, resulting in declining employment and reduced food access.

    “I don’t think it’s an accident they proliferate in low socioeconomic and African-American communities,” Tulsa City Council member Vanessa Hall-Harper told the ILSR. “That proliferation makes it more difficult for the full-service, healthy stores to set up shop and operate successfully.”

    In April 2017, Hall-Harper pushed through the first measure in the country to target dollar stores by limiting the number of locations allowed in Tulsa’s historically black north side—which does not have a single full-service grocery store—and incentivizing access to fresh food by offering zoning perks to grocery stores.

    “The parallel between these rural towns and urban neighborhoods like North Tulsa suggests that America’s real divide is not so much rural versus urban. Rather, it’s between the few large and mostly coastal cities that are prospering in an economy increasingly dominated by a few corporate giants and the many other cities and regions that are being left behind,” the ILSR concluded.
     
  2. Chicoro

    Chicoro Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, very interesting.
     
  3. danniegirl

    danniegirl Well-Known Member

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    We need to boycott all these stores
     
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  4. PretteePlease

    PretteePlease X-Men Storm Lightning in my hands

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    What is that supposed to accomplish. They are already poor with limited access is no access better?
    Folks been walking a hole in their shoes for racism and where has that gotten.
    At some point black people need to realize the war is on and has been on and
    help themselves. Maybe the Tulsa real estate group will see this and open a full
    market.
    They need to have some community gardens as well grow your own.

    99 cents only has lots of fresh food. That's a good thing. not sure if they are there.
     
  5. Cheleigh

    Cheleigh Well-Known Member

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    I think we talked about this several years ago--the next great frontier between classes will be food. Those who can afford to will consume fresh, organic, grass-fed, humanely farmed meats, seafood, fruits and vegetables, while poorer and less food savvy communities will subsist on fast food, high sodium and high caloric packaged foods and canned products. And those folks will see a much higher rate of illness, disease, and other side-effects related to a substandard/less than optimal diet.

    One thing will be access to higher quality foods. The other will be the knowledge of why and how to consume them. Being educated on best food practices takes work, and if you've never seen it done...that squash, fresh tomatoes and Havarti will be tossed aside in favor of spaghetti noodles, ketchup and cheese whiz.
     
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  6. SoopremeBeing

    SoopremeBeing Well-Known Member

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    I don’t recommend ANYONE go into a Dollar General. Those stores are disgusting!

    Now Dollar Tree....I’ve saved so much money getting my household goods there, but I would NEVER buy the actual food.
     
  7. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    Boycotting will only hurt people. I live in a decent semi-rural area and I shop dollar stores because except for fresh produce they carry all of the same crap that's in the grocery stores... literally. And I intend to live off of interests and smart investments in my retirement.


    Personally I'm not boycotting them, but I will look into buying shares.

    Save now, surf later.

    P.S. I'm black but thankfully (and due to hard work) could not be described as underclass.
     
  8. brownb83

    brownb83 Well-Known Member

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    I’m not surprised at all. It’s sad though
     
  9. NaturalEnigma

    NaturalEnigma Well-Known Member

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    I love the dollar store, not for the groceries but for everything else it sells, office supplies, cleaning supplies, hangers, kitchen tools etc. the list goes on. I save so much by shopping there. Even when I go to the movies I'll stop by the Dollar Tree first to get my soda, candy and popcorn for only $3. I read an article that said that millennials rely on the dollar tree to cut costs, and the way my student loans are looking I'm not trying to pay top dollars for simple household items.
     
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  10. Theresamonet

    Theresamonet Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I didn’t realize people were doing their grocery shopping at the Dollar Tree. Makes sense though, everything’s a dollar.
     
  11. shawnyblazes

    shawnyblazes Bette Davis Eyes

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    I shop at the dollar stores for cleaning supplies (when I remember) and arts/crafts things for my little one. Hair items from Dollar general. It’s never a dollar , lol. I got the African pride Moisture miracle line from there.

    I do see people racking up on food and I can’t blame them. Especially the elderly.

    I don’t even shop at Whole Foods. It’s too expensive for my taste/pockets. I like Trader Joe’s and Stop n Shop.
     
  12. SoopremeBeing

    SoopremeBeing Well-Known Member

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    This might be a bit off topic:

    What about Aldi or Lidl? I wonder what their expansion rate is like. You can purchase a lot of groceries there for a little. Way more affordable than Whole Foods and Harris Teeter.
     
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  13. shawnyblazes

    shawnyblazes Bette Davis Eyes

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    I detest Aldis. My grandmother used to make me go there in Chicago. Hated it. To this day I will walk in and come out with just a loaf of bread after walking the whole store.

    We just opened a Lidl close by. I never heard of them before. I’ll eventually make my way in there and see how it looks.
     
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  14. MACGlossChick

    MACGlossChick Well-Known Member

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    When I almost ran out of unemployment benefits, this was going to be my reality. Even on unemployment I was unqualified for any benefits (no dependents and I had savings and a 401k that they wanted me to use up first).

    That being said, I do buy food from Dollar Tree. The one closest to me sells pepperidge farm bread. I don't eat bread that much so whatever I won't use before the expiration date I freeze. They also carry some brand name items so I'll buy those too. The meat they sell doesn't look right to me so I'd pass on that. I'd rather go to Aldi for produce and other food items.
     
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  15. Mooney72

    Mooney72 Well-Known Member

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    When we were ttc, I bought about 20 of those dollar pregnancy tests, since I was testing a lot. Other than that, I've bought cheap stationery and cleaning supplies from Dollar General.
     
  16. winterinatl

    winterinatl All natural!

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    Dollar General has penny items. You are lucky if you have one near. Couponers have a field day at these places!
     
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  17. intellectualuva

    intellectualuva Well-Known Member

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    We are also talking about this in the Dr Claude Anderson thread. He predicted black people becoming part of the permanent underclass over 20 years ago if we didn't make certain changes.

    Dollar Tree isn't selling real food, except milk, eggs and bread....maybe frozen and canned veggies. Everything else is processed rubbish, but when you're in a food desert....its all just fine...no different than a bodega. .
     
  18. RoundEyedGirl504

    RoundEyedGirl504 Well-Known Member

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    Dollar general has a grocery store that I’ve seen in certain areas. No different than a smart and final or save-a-lot.
     
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  19. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    That might depend on the neighborhood. There's a ton of brand name items in the one near me. It's similar to a grocery store. It doesn't carry certain vegan products I like but there are plenty of high end grocery stores in the area for that.

    This area is the second home spot to lots of hedge fund folks and celebrities from the city and it's no where near a food desert. We've tons of locally grown produce and real farmer's markets with true fresh organic food all over the area.

    Dollar stores are just the wave of the future. I don't even think its about money anymore.

    People now know that items they were paying $5 for are worth 0.50 cents that still includes a 50 cent markup.

    And I have to say rich folks can be some of the most frugal in varying areas. Like they'll drive a Lexus F series but won't pay for dry cleaning. :lachen:

     
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  20. intellectualuva

    intellectualuva Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say they don't have name brand, just that most of the ones I've been to (my neighborhood has a "nice one") and it didn't have fresh food aside from the staples I mentioned. They also didn't have meat that wasn't deli food all of which is why I said it was similar to a bodega. I am simply drawing the line between them and the fresh fruit or vegetables options that can be found in traditional grocery store.

    If yours does, that's cool, but I havent seen any of the newer stores popping in poor neighborhoods that do. These neighborhoods are getting messy dollar generals or a dollar tree if they're working class, but none aren't being built to replace grocery stores in these actual food deserts stocking with fresh items like Walmart's grocery side or even Aldis.

    I honestly think this is done purposely. People without access to fresh food are more likely to be fat/sick and are less likely to "make it" generally speaking. The kids can't concentrate or compete in school nutritionally starving though full from whatever you managed to buy from the closest "food selling" store.

    Yes I know people can buy junk at Aldi, Walmart, or even Publix/Giants/Safeway/Harris Teeter...etc. However you have the option and access to a larger assortment of healthier and fresher options.
     
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  21. SoopremeBeing

    SoopremeBeing Well-Known Member

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    I think Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are trying to re-define the customer experience in their stores, too. I think they are headquarted in Chesapeake, VA, and they have a lot of marketing and visual merchandising jobs open right now.
     
  22. prettyinpurple

    prettyinpurple Well-Known Member

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    I wondered why I see so many of these stores in small towns now. They are popping up like crazy.
     
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  23. Makenzie

    Makenzie South side of Wakanda

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    I went into my neighborhood Family Dollar yesterday only to find out they have remodeled. It's really nice. At least half the store is now grocery items. I thought about this thread when I walked in there.
     
  24. MissNina

    MissNina Libra Girl

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    There is a Dollar Tree about 10 mins from me on the semi-decent side of town that I LOVE. I guess it’s bc my area is close and it’s boujie, but they have a whole organic/all natural snacks aisle - they sell Smart Pop & Angie’s Boom Boom, fruit bars and all. I stocked up my office snack drawer from there every other week. Other than that & candy, I don’t buy food there.

    They also have brand name items in mini sizes that I buy sometimes when I don’t need a lot.
     
  25. HappyAtLast

    HappyAtLast 2019 Simplicity & Peacefulness

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    I don't understand people's obsession and supposed savings at Aldi's. People I know who shop there RAVE about it. I've been in there a few times when I came across them (like if it's in a shopping center I'm already at) and I walked out puzzled and empty handed. :confused: I just don't get it about that store.

     
  26. ThursdayGirl

    ThursdayGirl Well-Known Member

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    I go there because the organic produce is much cheaper than at my other store. I can also get German desserts (yum!). Those are the only 2 things that I really buy there. Trader Joe’s is my jam.
     
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  27. gn1g

    gn1g Well-Known Member

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    PROTEST DOLLAR GENERAL? WHY?? NOT GN1G

    I stay in Dollar tree and Dollar General. I gladly take $40 a month to Dollar General for household supplies, juice and junk food. Just bought paper plates, dishwasher tabs and acetone polish remover today.
     
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  28. naturalgyrl5199

    naturalgyrl5199 Well-Known Member

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    Late response but my Dollar Tree has products that are environmentally friendly. Easing into that market. They know what they doing.
     

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