Dollar store

From Academic Kids

Missing image
A $.99 cent store

A dollar store is a store that sells inexpensive items for one dollar each. A very popular concept throughout the world, the stores usually sell everything from cleaning supplies to children's toys. Many products sold in such stores are not in brand name.

Often the term "dollar store", used by the store, can be misleading. Some stores with the word "dollar" in the name, and even some claiming to be "dollar stores", have items that technically cost (more or) less than a dollar. The problem with the name is also compounded by sales taxes, which leads to taxable items costing the customer more than a dollar.

Separate from "everything costs $1 (or less)" stores, there are also "Dollar General" stores, where the prices are in easy multiples of a dollar or 50 cents (for example, $2.50, $2 etc).


Examples of products

  • cleaning supplies (sponges, sprays, scrubbers, dustpans, bleach, cloths)
  • small tools (screwdrivers, wrenches, flashlights, locks, rope)
  • tape (duct tape, packing tape, scotch tape, electrical tape)
  • personal supplies (combs, brushes, barettes, hair pulls, shampoo, soap)
  • kitchen supplies (utensils, spatulas, peelers, dishes, glasses, potholders)
  • organizational supplies (crates, dish drainers, hangers, suction cups)
  • small office supplies (pens, pencils, paper, markers, tacks, paperclips)
  • decorations (Christmas ornaments, Halloween treats, Easter eggs)
  • home supplies (night lights, light bulbs, extension cords, candles)
  • electronics supplies (phone cords, TV cables, adapters, splitters)
  • food (canned vegetables, cookies, candy, ramen noodles, soft drinks, water)
  • gardening supplies (small pots, seeds, decorations, tools)
  • crafts (ribbons, pom-poms, tape, scissors, paints, brushes, clips)
  • home decor novelties (picture frames, candle holders, paperweights)
  • small novelty toys (suction darts, rubber balls, plastic cars, booklets)
  • pet supplies (chew toys, collars, leashes, bowls, rawhide)
  • Outdated computer software.
  • Old movies and DVDs
  • Out of print books.

Some items sold at a dollar store would be a dollar or less anyway, whereas other items are a substantially better deal. There are three main reasons a dollar store is able to sell merchandise at such a low price:

  • The product is sold in a smaller quantity (ex. food)
  • The product is a generic / "knock-off", often specially manufactured for such stores
  • The product is purchased from another retail store or distributor as overstock, closeout merchandise, or seasonal merchandise at the end of the season

Some stores carry mostly new merchandise, some mostly closeout merchandise bought from other stores below regular wholesale cost. Other variations on the dollar store include the 99¢ store, and at least one $1.25 store. While they may each set a different amount, the stores' concept depends on having a single retail price point for all merchandise, regardless of wholesale cost.

Dollar stores are often franchises. Dollar stores are the modern incarnation of "5 and 10" or "five and dime" stores where all merchandise was ten cents or less.[1] (

Depending upon the size, some dollar stores actually have a frozen food and drink section, and also a fruit / vegetable one. Some of the Deal$ stores in the US are one such example.

In Europe, is quite common for the products to come from or marketed to an another country, so foreign-language infomation is commonplace, i.e. Pepsi from Poland/Czech Republic on sale in the UK or deodorant from Germany.

Notable dollar stores

European counterparts

This phenomenon also occurs in Europe. In Britain they are called pound shops. One popular chain is called either Poundland[2] ( or Euroland, depending on whether in Britain or the Eurozone.

The Hema (Hollandse Eenheidsprijzen Maatschappij - Dutch Standard Pricing company) was originally a 'guilder' store, everything costing one gulden.

In Norway there is Tier´n, which is a colloquialism for ten kroner (crowns), about $1.40.

In Sweden there is Tian, which is a colloquialism for ten kroner (crowns), about $1.25.

In Spain there are Todo a 100 shops ("everything for 100 pesetas (0.60 €)"), although due to the introduction of the euro and inflation, most products cost a multiple of 0.60 or 1 euro. Most of these shops maintain their name in pesetas, and most of them have been renamed as Casi todo a 100 ("almost everything for 100 [pesetas]") or Todo a 100, 300, 500 y más ("everything for 100, 300, 500 or more").

Japanese counterparts

This type of retail is also observable in Japan. It is commonly referred to as "100-yen shop" (US dollar being 100 to 150 yen).

The stores are said to be proliferating across Japan since around the turn of the century. This is considered by some an effect of decade long recession of Japanese economy.

For a long time, 100-yen shops existed not as stores in brick-and-mortar building, but as venders under temporary, foldable tents. They were (and still are) typically found near the entrance areas of supermarkets.

Australian counterparts

In Australia, these stores often sell aforementioned products for two dollars -- indeed, one store is named the "Two Dollar Shop", the other notable shop is named "The Reject Shop". Often, stores similar to these operate and are labeled independently. They are found normally in shopping malls, but also found in other areas streetside.

Arabian counterparts

These stores are found all over the Middle East, however the most 'popular' ones are found in the city of Dubai. Advertised extensively on Arabic and Persian satelite TV stations across the world, these stores have gained new ground in attracting tourists from other Middle Eastern nations to the United Arab Emirates.

Although there is no official name for these stores in Arabic, they are generally called the "kul'lo shayy'in AAshara dirham" stores ("everything ten dirhams"). Ten dirhams would be about USD $3.

The popular ones in Dubai are:

  • Arz Al-Hadaya ("Gift Land")
  • Al-Kabayl Discount Center
  • Day to Day
  • Gift Village

See also

External links


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