Stacy Mitchell discussed the rapid expansion of dollar stores on All Sides with Ann Fisher, a call-in show airing on the NPR-affiliate in Columbus, Ohio. Whether you’re driving through your small rural town or an urban sprawl, you’ll likely spot the green Dollar Tree sign or the blaring yellow Dollar General. There are well over 30,000 dollar stores sprinkled across the U.S., and the chains’ only see burgeoning growth in their future.
Communities, however, have a different vision. In North Tulsa, for example, Stacy explains, the community “persuaded the city council to enact an ordinance to limit dollar stores from coming into the neighborhood.” Two years later, that same neighborhood has a prospering grocery store that provides fair wages, fresh groceries, and strong community values. The dollar store fight is a unifying one, bringing people together, despite their political backgrounds, to make their communities safe and healthy.
But, Ann posits, if so many people don’t like dollar stores, why are there so many? One reason, Stacy goes on to explain, is that “Dollar General and Family Dollar are able to pressure suppliers into providing discounts and special package sizes that are not available on equal terms to independent grocery stores. This is technically a violation of antitrust law.” In effect, dollar stores are using their buyer power to strangle small businesses, gain the advantage, and prey on communities all over the country.
Listen to the segment: All Sides with Ann Fisher here.
What are the harms of dollar stores? Find out in 17 Problems.
How do you keep dollar stores out of your community? Read out Strategy Guide.
How can federal policy provide cover to communities fighting back against dollar chains? Read The Dollar Store Invasion.
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