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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Despite the improving economy, consumers are still frequently visiting dollar stores, whether in search of a bargain, the thrill from the hunt or because of the influx of food and beverage products, according to a recent report by The Hartman Group.
The Shopping Topography report found that food and beverages work in synergy with what compels shopping in dollar stores: looking for treasure among diverse general merchandise, apparel and nonfood consumer packaged goods products, according to the research company.
"Shopping in dollar stores should no longer be viewed as trading down," said President and COO Laurie Demeritt. "The desire for American consumers, across all income brackets, to frequent dollar stores lies in a quest for shopping experiences featuring surprise and discovery. These stores are very much part of the cultural fabric of the retail marketplace. Entire communities are formed around shoppers sharing stories about their most recent find."
But even though their success continues, most consumers do not see dollar stores as a planned trip, she added.
"When shopping at dollar stores, 71 percent of consumers tell us they are in a browse and buy mode," Demeritt explained. "Compared with the grocery store, shopping at the dollar store is a fun adventure where they prefer to just go and shop and see what they can discover."