Family Dollar Is Adding 1,000 Products and Making Shopping Easier: "We Must Improve"
THE RETAILER IS UPGRADING STORES AFTER TEMPORARILY CLOSING HUNDREDS OF LOCATIONS LAST YEAR.
Dollar stores are already known for making things a bit easier on your wallet. These discount chains are jam-packed with affordable necessities and knickknacks—and Family Dollar is no exception. While not everything is exactly a buck at these stores anymore, it's easy to find lower prices than at your local supermarket. Now, Family Dollar—a subsidiary of Dollar Tree—is making the shopping even simpler by expanding product offerings and updating store layouts. Read on to find out what you can expect to see at Family Dollar, and why executives say stores "must improve."
READ THIS NEXT: Dollar Tree Accused of "Endangering Everyone" Who Shops There.
The company previously faced backlash for unsanitary conditions.
Family Dollar had a particularly rough go of it last year. In Feb. 2022, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation identified rodent infestations and unsanitary conditions at a distribution center in West Memphis, Arkansas. As a result, over 400 Family Dollar stores were temporarily closed, and the company issued a recall for several FDA-regulated products stored and shipped from the distribution center.
At the time, Family Dollar spokesperson Kayleigh Campbell said in a statement that the company "temporarily closed the affected stores in order to proficiently conduct the voluntary recall," and that the locations would reopen as soon as possible, per The New York Times. While the West Memphis distribution center was eventually closed, retail stores were incrementally reopened.
More recently, however, Dollar Tree was also accused of "endangering everyone who works and shops" at its stores, with excessive inventory blocking exits and walkways, per a press release from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
During a March 1 earnings call, Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO of Dollar Tree, didn't mention these closures or hazardous conditions directly, but did say that the retailer needs to make changes across the board.
The CEO said that store conditions "must improve."
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Dreiling told investors that executives are focusing on running "efficient and productive stores" and working to create better workplace conditions.
"We must improve our store and DC [distribution center] conditions, and we are in the process of doing so," the CEO said. "Frankly, stores and DCs are not being maintained up to our new leadership standards. We are actively transitioning from what we consider to be reactive to proactive maintenance approach."
Dreiling added that these changes will hopefully reduce employee turnover, too, as store associates are the ones who are in charge of getting merchandise out on the floor.
"As a high transaction volume business, it's critical we have processes in place to get product onto our shelves quickly," he said. "I am certain that we can't sell a product if it's in the backroom. Approving efficiencies and workflows positively impacts our associate experience. The worker, as an organization must be a cornerstone that we support and enable our associates to be successful."
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Store shelving is getting a refresh.
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While executives work to clean up stores, they're simultaneously adding new products. During last week's call, Dreiling stated there is "tremendous long-term opportunity to improve the operating performance at Family Dollar."
According to Dreiling, Family Dollar stores are getting higher shelves, which will now be up to 70 inches tall. The CEO added that this will also allow Family Dollar to introduce new products—to the tune of 1,000 unique items.
Family Dollar will also make room for additional frozen and refrigerated items. "Our shoppers rely on Family Dollar in their communities to provide these consumable base products to feed their families," Dreiling said.
Other changes are in the works for Dollar Tree stores.
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As far as Dollar Tree stores, loyal shoppers should expect to see changes there as well. The retailer is introducing more items at $3 and $5 price points this year, as part of the Dollar Tree Plus line.
Just like Family Dollar, Dollar Tree is also getting space for additional frozen and refrigerated items, and "aggressively expanding" its $3, $4, and $5 offerings in those categories. Beyond that, roughly 1,000 Dollar Tree stores are being renovated this year—and approximately 650 new stores are slated to open.