As inflation hits harder, middle-class shoppers gravitate to dollar stores

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As inflation continues to push up the price of consumer goods, shoppers from higher income levels are starting to abandon their regular grocery store in favor of a new favorite: the dollar store.

These no-frills retail stores, where shoppers can buy everything from cotton underwear to toothpaste for around a dollar, have traditionally served low-income and rural shoppers with few options to stock up on what they need. But over the course of the pandemic, middle-class shoppers have streamed into dollar stores for their essentials. 

Shoppers swapping out higher-ticket items at big-box stores for dollar items “continue to exceed our expectation retention rate,” Todd Vasos, CEO of Dollar General, told investors in an earnings call Thursday.

In September, he said the company continues to “service even a broader subset of the consumer base” while “trying to find ways to even appeal to a more broader cross-section of America.”

Dollar General, which said…

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