Consumer Comeback Blog

Dollar Stores Gain Favor with Budget Conscious Consumers

Dollar stores have long suffered from an image problem because consumers often assume the majority of inventory is well, cheap. You get what you pay for.

But leave it to the faltering economy to force consumers to take a second look at the most frugal option. Instead of worrying why something only costs a dollar, consumers are increasingly wondering why they have been paying full price for essentially the same items.

A Perception Research Services International shopper survey revealed that shoppers are gradually abandoning their previous stigmas about dollar stores.

The majority of shoppers (91%) continue to prefer supermarkets and mass merchandisers (73%) such as Target for their grocery shopping purchases in the last three months, but dollar stores are gaining favor with shoppers at 35%.

According to the study, consumers most frequently buy food and beverages at supermarkets and mass merchandisers, but they prefer to buy cleaning supplies, personal care, and shelf-stable items at dollar stores.

Groceries and food expenses usually claim a large slice of the budget pie. The economy has influenced consumers to change their grocery shopping habits. The survey indicated that in 2012, 83% of shoppers report using coupons and shopping sales, 70% have modified their shopping quantities or started buying in bulk, and 61% have reported switching brands to save money.

“Our latest findings on grocery shopping indicate how very discerning today’s shoppers are – about their venue preferences as well as brand choices,” Jonathan Asher, executive vice president at PRS, said in a press release.