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    Dollar Stores Gaining Shopper Visits

    NPD credits new store openings, expanded product selection.

    CHICAGO — The dollar store channel is seeing a boost in consumer activity despite the overall decline in brick-and-mortar shopping, according to new research from The NPD Group.

    The market research firm reported that shopper visits were up 14 percent in dollar stores for the quarter ended in July, compared to a 4-percent decline for physical retail overall. In addition, the dollar store channel posted the largest year-over-year share increase in shopping visits, which NPD attributes in part to new store openings.

    Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for NPD, noted that shoppers visit dollar stores with the intent to buy something, not to browse. He added that "dollar store traffic has been increasing over the past few years because they have expanded their selection of products, making the channel even more useful and pleasing to price-savvy consumers."

    Three-quarters of all shoppers in the dollar store channel purchase one or more items during each visit, and the amount they spend is up 3 percent, on average, since last year. Additionally, in the past two years, the dollar store channel shopper has gotten younger — 50 percent of its shoppers are under 45 years of age, compared to 42 percent two years ago.

    In particular, Cohen pointed to the 16-24 age group, which has increased its number of overall brick-and-mortar visits, with 11-percent growth among males and 4-percent growth among females.

    "Millennials are increasing their activity in the market, because as much as online and mobile channels are ingrained in their brain, shopping is still a social behavior for this group," Cohen said.

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