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Why I Won’t Buy That for A Dollar

Strategic Retail Group, retail trends blog, broker tips

“Why I Won’t Buy That for A Dollar” is a satirical comment about middle and upper class consumers no longer feeling the financial need to shop at Dollar Stores.

According to Trading Economics, consumer confidence was at 73.2 in October of 2013 versus 84.6 in the same month of 2014. Does this mean that since the US is more confident in the economy and its financial outlook that the middle and upper class don’t shop at Dollar Stores anymore, or at least with a lot less frequency? I think so. 

In 2008, US Consumer Confidence was at a low point of 55.30. WalMart, Dollar Tree, Dollar General and other discount retailers experienced a growth in sales and thus expanded their retail locations to accommodate the shift in consumer spending. The bleak outlook at that time caused consumers to retract how much they spent and changed where they would spend their money. Superior health conscious individuals aside, if I’m buying juice (not organic), ketchup, mustard, some frozen foods, prepackaged goods, paper plates, napkins, glassware, candy, party supplies and house cleaning products etc., these items were found at any of the brand name dollar stores for a dollar. As a cost conscious consumer, I changed my pattern of spending (also keeping my ego in check) and shopped much more frequently at the dollar stores to find the above mentioned items I needed. 

With a grim outlook on the economy in 2008, again being 55.30 ( I, along with a fair amount of my fellow Americans, had to change the way I handled my money and where I spent it. My mentality for the next few years was protecting myself from frivolous spending and shopping responsibly for everyday items at the dollar stores. 

Now, as the barometer of economic conditions have increased from 2008 to today by almost 30 points, I find myself shopping less frequently at the dollar stores and am finding my products elsewhere. As my confidence in the economy has increased, and partly my annual pay, I continue to lose the ego check and am shopping much more frequently at the costlier stores. More jobs have been created, unemployment has decreased and I feel like I’ve weathered the toughest storm of my life, so I can now be rewarded with brand name products for $2.99 instead of $1.00.

Of course as I write this, I realize how much of a fool I must sound like, but I can’t help it. I work hard and I like nice things to compliment my work ethic. However, I believe that as the economy continues to improve as will consumer confidence, the Dollar Stores will slide to their pre-2008 position. That’s why I won’t buy that for a dollar anymore...


By: Jason Fessinger

Partner, Strategic Retail Group

Phone: 602-778-3833

Email Jason:

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