Where Is Consumer Foot Traffic to Dollar Stores on the Rise?

October 5, 2021

In recent months, consumers have shown increased interest in cost-conscious spending, particularly when it comes to groceries, household items, and impulse buys. As a result, consumer foot traffic to affordable grocery stores like Aldi and Trader Joe’s has been on the rise. Furthermore, foot traffic to dollar stores across the country rose significantly between Q2 2022 and Q2 2023.

According to our data, Five Below has seen the most significant year-over-year rise in foot traffic, followed by Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Learn more about recent year-over-year foot traffic to dollar stores and what this tells us about current consumer trends in our recent blog post.

To dig deeper into these trends and to learn more about consumer interest in dollar stores, we examined year-over-year foot traffic to top dollar store chains across various regions in the U.S.

Foot Traffic to Five Below

Year-over-year foot traffic to Five Below locations increased across all regions (with missing data for the Mountain region, which includes states like Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and more). In all regions, Five Below experienced notable increases in foot traffic, however, the increase was particularly pronounced in the West North Central region. Here, foot traffic to Five Below locations increased by a whopping 93% year-over-year. Five Below’s popularity also increased substantially in the West North Central, New England, and South Atlantic regions. With various new stores opening in these top-growing regions in 2023, it seems Five Below’s robust expansion plan is paying off in terms of consumer attraction and foot traffic growth.

Five Below’s impressive levels of foot traffic growth align with the company’s overall success. In Q2 2023, Five Below expanded its footprint by opening 40 new stores across 43 states. This has likely impacted its foot traffic levels positively. Plus, Five Below boasts a trendy product line that has likely attracted more consumers looking for fun purchases or popular items at competitive prices. So it’s no wonder that Five Below has seen such impressive levels of growth in consumer foot traffic across all regions measured.

Foot Traffic to Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree, like Five Below, also experienced foot traffic growth in all U.S. regions from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023. The most significant increase occurred in the Mountain region, with foot traffic to Dollar Tree stores increasing by 52% year-over-year. Dollar Tree stores in the East North Central region experienced a significant increase of 41%, and 38% in the West North Central region.

After naming a new CEO in January of this year, Dollar Tree has been executing an aggressive expansion plan that included opening hundreds of new stores, relocating stores, and closing others. The extreme-discount chain’s sales were impressive as well, solidifying the success of its growth initiatives. With over 16,000 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces, Dollar Tree has set itself up for more impressive growth throughout the rest of the year.

Foot Traffic to Dollar General

Discount giant Dollar General has also experienced significant foot traffic growth across all U.S. regions. Trending with competitors such as Five Below and Dollar Tree, Dollar General saw particularly notable growth in New England and in the East North Central and Mountain regions. Stores saw increases of 42% in New England, 41% in the Mountain region, and 34% in the East North Central region.

Similar to its top competitors, Dollar General is rapidly increasing its footprint and has the most stores of any retail giant in the nation (over 19,000 locations). Although Dollar General has continued to expand, its Q2 financial earnings did not meet expectations. The company did, however, make improvements in other areas, such as its supply chain execution and price position. These things could make for better financial performance in the coming months and even more foot traffic growth and expansion.

Is Consumer Foot Traffic to Dollar Stores Shifting?

The South is abundant with dollar and discount stores. In fact, Texas and Florida are home to the most dollar store locations in the country. While most dollar stores are concentrated in the southern and southeastern regions, foot traffic to dollar stores is on the rise in most western and northeastern states, but why might this be?

As the nation’s top dollar store chains expand, perhaps they are spreading into areas with less concentration of dollar stores, such as the Mountain region. This could be driven by increased demand for highly discounted products following post-pandemic economic challenges like inflation. As more consumers look to get the most bang for their buck in 2023, it seems the market for dollar stores is expanding quickly in new areas. Does this mean that foot traffic to dollar stores will continue to surge in western and northeastern states? It will be interesting to see how this trend plays out in the coming months as the holidays approach and the nation’s top dollar store chains continue to expand their territories.

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