Which Ones Are the Biggest Dollar Stores? Ranking & Analysis

From city outskirts to bustling metropolises, dollar stores have claimed their stake in the retail industry, offering exceptional bargains and everyday essentials. But have you ever wondered which ones are the biggest dollar stores? As your guide in budget shopping, I’ll be delving into the giants of this sector, ranking and analyzing their market presence and impact. I aim to give you insights into these chains’ size, offerings, and strategies. Buckle up as we embark on this journey, starting with a comprehensive ranking and analysis of these budget-friendly behemoths.

Which Ones Are the Biggest Dollar Stores?

Dollar General is the largest dollar store in the United States. Then, the Dollar Tree company, including the Family Dollar chain it acquired in 2015, occupies the second spot. Despite having more Family Dollar locations, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are considered part of the same entity. Five Below, a different model targeting tweens and teens, is the third-largest Dollar store—lastly, 99 Cents Only Stores, with its regional presence in a few states.

Here are the Biggest Dollar Stores by Size with their ranking :

RankChainNumber of Stores 2023Fiscal YearRevenue (in billions of USD)
1Dollar General19,165202337.84
2Dollar Tree7,931202328.33
3Family Dollar8,3122023
4Five Below1,38520233.08
599 Cents Only Stores37820222.1
Dollar Store by Size

Understanding the Dollar Store Phenomenon

The dollar store phenomenon has gained traction worldwide, with the United States leading the way. These stores sell items at an affordable price, usually around a dollar, attracting a wide array of consumers seeking value for their money. Understanding this trend requires a closer look at the dollar store concept and its increasing popularity.

What is the Dollar Store Concept?

The dollar store concept revolves around offering a broad range of products at highly affordable prices, typically around one dollar. That includes household items, cleaning supplies, toys, and food products. The merchandise often imported allows these stores to maintain a diverse inventory catering to different customer needs. While most items cost a dollar, some stores have expanded their price points, offering products at multiple dollar increments or less than a dollar.

The attractiveness of dollar stores lies in their simplicity and the sense of bargain they offer. Customers find the straightforward pricing approach stress-free, eliminating the need for detailed price comparisons. Moreover, dollar stores’ focus on the essential items we use daily makes them a convenient one-stop shopping destination. This convenience factor is crucial in today’s fast-paced lifestyle, where time efficiency is key.

What Makes Dollar Stores Popular?

The popularity of dollar stores continues beyond their affordability or convenience. An essential part of the dollar store’s success story is its adaptability to economic shifts. During periods of economic downturn or inflation, these stores become even more appealing to the general public. They provide an accessible platform for consumers to continue their shopping habits without significantly affecting their budgets.

Dollar stores also possess a degree of retail resilience. They thrive in various locations, including rural and lower-income urban neighborhoods, often underserved by larger retail chains. For instance, the typical Dollar General customer is an older rural worker with a high school education earning less than $40,000 annually. This broad geographical reach and focus on an underserved market segment contribute significantly to the dollar store phenomenon’s sustainability.

Prominent players in the dollar store market, such as Dollar General, Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar, have leveraged these advantages to secure their positions in the retail industry. Their success is not solely based on selling inexpensive items but on offering products under private labels. For instance, Dollar General produces over 40 different private-label product brands, which allows the corporation to have better control over production costs and establish its prices.

The Top Dollar Store Chains Profile

In the ever-growing world of discount retail, few players stand out as prominently as Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Five Below, and 99 Cents Only Stores. These industry titans have earned their spots through savvy business strategies, unique brand identities, and an unerring focus on providing value to their customers. Let’s delve into each of these top-dollar store chains and uncover what makes them exceptional.

Dollar General

Dollar General, a titan of the discount retail industry, was conceived by J. L. Turner and Hurley Calister Turner Sr. in 1939. Its headquarters is in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, but its influence stretches across the southern, southwestern, midwestern, and eastern United States. Dollar General has earned a reputation for offering competitive prices on merchandise products from prominent brands like Clorox, Procter & Gamble, and Coca-Cola, among others. It’s no wonder that Dollar General can attract a broad customer base, typically older rural workers with a high school education and incomes under $40,000. Their unique business model, offering an easy “in and out” shopping format and maintaining rock-bottom prices, makes Dollar General a household name among discount retailers.

Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree has distinguished itself by maintaining a unique market strategy. Operating under the name Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree Canada, this chain of discount variety retail stores offers all its merchandise at a fixed price of $1.00. The idea that sprung into life in Chesapeake, Virginia, now operates over 15,500 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces, supported by a solid logistics network and more than 193,000 associates. This strict pricing policy, combined with the variety and value of its product offerings, makes Dollar Tree a prominent figure in the dollar store industry.

Five Below

Designed to captivate tweens and teens, Five Below offers a captivating retail experience that sells products priced under $5, with a select assortment of items from $6 to $25. The brainchild of Tom Vellios and David Schlessinger, Five Below has expanded from its roots in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to nearly 1,200 stores across 40 states. What sets Five Below apart from its competitors is its understanding of its target market. Focusing on trendy, high-quality products that resonate with younger consumers, Five Below has positioned itself as a go-to shopping destination for this demographic.

99 Cents Only Stores

99 Cents Only Stores, as the name implies, have made a name for themselves by pricing their goods at the exceedingly low price of 99 cents. Founded in 1982, this extreme-value store operates 384 stores, primarily in California, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. Despite the low price point, the company doesn’t skimp on quality, offering a wide selection of products that belie their bargain prices. This ingenious strategy has allowed 99 Cents Only Stores to become a leading operator of extreme-value stores in active regions.

Each of these dollar store chains embodies a unique strategy that allows them to thrive in the competitive discount retail market. Whether Dollar General’s focus on competitive pricing, Dollar Tree’s fixed $1.00 pricing, Five Below’s understanding of their target demographic, or 99 Cents Only Stores’ commitment to extreme value, these chains continue to innovate and adapt to better serve their customers. As they continue to grow and evolve, it’s clear that they’ll remain dominant figures in the dollar store industry for years to come.

Inside Look: The Biggest Dollar General Store

Imagine stepping into a retail sanctuary where the shelves are brimming with affordable goods, from kitchen essentials to clothing and everything in between. Welcome to the largest Dollar General store, a space designed to make the everyday needs of its customers conveniently available under one roof.

The most prominent Dollar General is a haven for value seekers and practical shoppers. It brings together a broad range of products spanning numerous categories, all within an expansive, shopper-friendly environment. As you walk down its wide, well-lit aisles, the variety of products on display is nothing short of astounding. It boasts a robust selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, and health/beauty products, catering to every possible need of its diverse customer base.

What truly sets the biggest Dollar General store apart is its size and commitment to providing quality products at unbeatable prices. Regardless of the customer’s budget, they’re bound to find items that fit their needs.

What are Dollar General’s Popular Items?

Every Dollar General always has standout items that capture customers’ attention, but in the largest store, the array of bestsellers is even more impressive. Their popular items range from practical daily essentials to occasional needs. For instance, food is a dominant category, with 24% of purchases made exclusively at dollar stores attributed to it. It includes pantry staples and a diverse selection of breakfast cereals, canned beans, and ramen noodles.

Alongside food, personal care items also receive high customer demand, accounting for 22% of total sales. And let’s remember the variety of affordable household items popular among shoppers, such as cleaning supplies, wrapping paper, and greeting cards.

How to Get Dollar General Discounts?

Everybody loves a good discount, and Dollar General, known for its affordability, has no shortage. However, the secret to maximizing your savings at this retail giant goes beyond just shopping at low prices.

One must leverage their various discount schemes to save big at Dollar General. It includes the weekly ad, released every Sunday, showcasing different discounted products. Moreover, creating an account through their app or website allows you to load digital coupons onto your account for extra savings. Customers can use these digital coupons with other discounts for maximum savings.

In our upcoming sections, we’ll reveal step-by-step guides on how to take full advantage of Dollar General discounts, helping you navigate your way to the best deals. Our insights allow you to fill your cart without emptying your wallet at the biggest Dollar General store. Stay tuned!

Follow these easy steps to squeeze every cent of savings out of your shopping trip.

  1. Download the Dollar General App: This is your first step towards saving big. The app, available for iOS and Android, is the gateway to all Dollar General discounts and offers. You can view the app’s weekly ads, digital coupons, and ongoing deals.
  2. Create an Account: Register an account with your email and phone number. It will allow you to add coupons to your account and utilize them at checkout. Ensure to provide an accurate email address because Dollar General often sends exclusive offers to registered users.
  3. Browse Weekly Ads: Every Sunday, Dollar General releases a new weekly ad with sales and specials that last for the entire week. The ads contain many discounted items, so planning your shopping around them is beneficial. You can find these ads on the app or the Dollar General website.
  4. Add Digital Coupons to Your Account: The Dollar General app or website allows you to browse and add digital coupons to your account. These discounts automatically apply to your purchase when you check out. Adding digital coupons to your account can save more on your favorite products.
  5. Use the $5 off $25 Coupon: Dollar General regularly offers a coupon that provides $5 off your purchase of $25 or more. Customers can use this great deal with other discounts and coupons for additional savings. The coupon is available weekly in the Dollar General app and printed at the bottom of your receipt when you purchase.
  6. Use Manufacturer Coupons: Besides its coupons, Dollar General accepts manufacturer coupons, which can lead to even more savings. Check product websites and couponing websites for these offers.
  7. Join the DG AutoDeliver Program: For products you use regularly, consider joining the DG AutoDeliver program. This program allows you to schedule regular deliveries of certain items and offers a 5% discount on every order after the first one.

With these steps, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the discounts offered by Dollar General. Remember, the goal is to combine as many deals and discounts as possible to maximize your savings. 

Comparing Dollar Store Offerings

When shopping for deals, the allure of dollar stores is hard to resist. The question is about more than where to find the cheapest products and where to find the best quality for your buck. This section will dissect what different dollar stores offer in popular categories such as craft supplies, school supplies, bath, and beauty products.

Craft Supplies

Regarding craft supplies, Dollar Tree often comes out on top due to its wider variety of products. From pom-poms to pipe cleaners, they provide crafters with many inexpensive options. However, Dollar General is also an excellent spot to consider, especially if you’re looking for a specific item that may be absent at Dollar Tree.

School Supplies

Families flock to dollar stores for affordable supplies when the back-to-school season rolls around. Dollar General is often hailed as the go-to for basic school supplies such as pencils, notebooks, and erasers, as they stock reliable brands at reasonable prices. However, Dollar Tree is worth a look for their $1.25 deals that can help you snag even more savings on these essentials.

Bath and Beauty Products

Beauty mavens on a budget will appreciate the offerings at Family Dollar. Their bath and beauty aisle often houses name brands like L’Oreal and Maybelline at discounted prices. However, if you’re searching for more generic or less-known brands, Dollar General and Dollar Tree may carry what you need at a similar or lower price point.

Food and Groceries

Regarding food and groceries, all dollar stores are not created equal. Dollar General has been noted for its value in this category, often offering brand-name items at lower prices than grocery stores. Family Dollar also has a decent selection of groceries, although their prices may be slightly higher on some items.

Comparing Dollar Stores: What is The Best For?

When comparing dollar stores, it’s not just about price but also the product range and quality. Dollar Tree’s focus on value for a single dollar often gives it an edge, but Dollar General’s wider range of products and brands can make it more appealing, depending on your needs.

While often slightly more expensive, Family Dollar offers the advantage of carrying name brands in its inventory. Five Below and 99 Cents Only Stores also have their niches, focusing on products for teens and pre-teens, while 99 Cents Only Stores is known for its impressive selection of fresh produce.

Here is the Top Dollar Store Chain with their best service :

Store ChainBest For
Dollar GeneralA wide range of products and brands
Dollar TreeItems for $1.25 and craft supplies
Family DollarName brand bath and beauty products
Five BelowProducts for teens and pre-teens
99 Cents Only StoresAn impressive selection of fresh produce
Top Dollar Store Chains

Unpacking the Growth of Dollar Stores in the South

The southern region of the United States has seen impressive growth in dollar stores over the years. A unique combination of demographic characteristics, economic power, and government policies has driven this trend. Understanding these factors provides insights into the retail landscape and tells a story about the socio-economic dynamics in this part of the country.

Profit margins are crucial in the proliferation of dollar stores in the South. Dollar General, for instance, has been particularly aggressive in opening new stores, with each reportedly netting them a roughly 20% return. That is possible because of the company’s operational efficiency, small store sizes, and lower operating costs than traditional grocery stores.

Moreover, dollar stores have found a sweet spot in terms of geographic preference. Their accessibility is good in every state in the contiguous U.S., but the density is remarkably high in the South. Mississippi leads the nation with about three stores for every 10,000 residents. The state of Texas holds the record for the most number of Dollar General locations, with 1,781 stores, accounting for approximately 9% of all Dollar General stores in the U.S. as of June 2023.

Why Are There So Many Dollar Stores in the South?

The one key reason for the proliferation of dollar stores in the South is the demographic and economic makeup of the region. The South is home to many rural areas and small towns where incomes are often lower than the national average. These are the areas where dollar stores thrive, offering affordable goods to customers sensitive to price.

Interestingly, the presence of dollar stores in these areas is not just a response to the demand but can also influence local retail landscapes. The stores are often small, with lower operating costs than larger grocery stores, which allows them to open in areas where traditional retailers might need help finding it viable. For example, about 47% of Dollar General’s stores in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are serving counties with fewer than 100 people per square mile.

In addition, government policies and zoning regulations can sometimes favor opening dollar stores. These stores can help provide a valuable service by offering essential goods at low prices, particularly in underserved or low-income areas.

While dollar stores benefit from convenience and affordability, concerns about their impact on local economies and health exist. They typically offer fewer fresh and healthy food options than grocery stores, which can contribute to the problem of “food deserts” problem. However, despite these challenges, the dollar store industry in the South continues to grow, reflecting the complex interplay of economic realities, customer preferences, and retail strategies.

Maximizing Savings at Dollar Stores

Dollar stores offer many discounts and savings opportunities, but capitalizing on them requires a keen eye, a strategic approach, and an understanding of the different stores’ operations. Let’s dive in and discover how to maximize savings at these dollar stores.

Know Your Dollar Stores

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand the differences between the stores. Dollar General, for instance, offers store coupons for their items. Look for coupons on mainstream items stacked with a manufacturer’s coupon for maximum savings.

On the other hand, Dollar Tree sells most of its wares for a dollar or less, making it an ideal stop for inexpensive cleaning, home decor, or party supplies. To save time and gas, consider shopping at Dollar Tree online. They also have wares on the web; you might even score cashback.

Family Dollar, while not strictly a ‘dollar’ store, offers low-priced items and often has discount racks at the front of the store. Regular visits can reveal when items go on sale, allowing you to capitalize on the best deals.

Five Below caters more to the teen and pre-teen market, with most items priced between one and five dollars. This store is excellent for finding trendy items, toys, and clothing deals.

True to their name, the 99 Cents Only Stores offers most of their items at 99 cents. You can find discounted groceries, cleaning supplies, and household items here.

Discount Shopping Strategies

One of the most effective ways to maximize savings at dollar stores is to focus on what to buy. While these stores offer a variety of items, only some things are good deals. For instance, purchasing non-perishable items such as canned goods, cleaning supplies, and paper products can be a win. Conversely, be wary of perishable items like dairy or meat, as these may only sometimes be the freshest or best quality.

Be sure also to consider the unit price when comparing products. Sometimes, items at dollar stores can be smaller or contain less than those found at regular grocery or retail stores. It could make them more expensive in the long run.

Couponing and Sale Strategies

To get the most out of your dollar store shopping experience, be on the lookout for coupons. As mentioned above, Dollar General offers a variety of store coupons, which customers can often stack with manufacturer coupons for even more significant savings. Dollar Tree also accepts coupons, but check their coupon policy for specifics.

Pairing coupons with sales can provide an additional layer of savings. Keep an eye on the weekly sales flyers, which often include discounts on popular items. Combining these sale prices with coupons can lead to significant savings.

What’s the Difference Between a Dollar Store Vs. Discount Store?

Regarding affordable shopping, two store types often come to mind: dollar stores and discount stores. Both retail formats are popular among consumers looking to maximize their budget and find excellent deals. However, while they share some similarities, there are key differences between dollar and discount stores that every savvy shopper should know.

Dollar stores, such as Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only Stores, are retail outlets where most if not all, items are priced at one specific price point. This price point is typically $1, hence the “dollar store.” These stores often offer various products, from groceries, cleaning supplies, and personal care items to small home goods and seasonal decor. They often deal in smaller product sizes or sell overstock, closeout, or second-quality items. Dollar stores are famous for their simplicity and consistency. Shoppers know what to expect regarding pricing, making budgeting more manageable.

On the other hand, discount stores like Walmart, Target, or Big Lots offer a broader range of products at various price points. These retailers purchase massive quantities to sell goods at lower prices than traditional department stores. They carry everything from clothing, electronics, furniture, home goods, groceries, etc. Unlike dollar stores, discount stores often have more diverse brand selections, including high-end or designer brands. The primary allure of discount stores is the possibility of snagging high-value items at significantly reduced prices.

A prime difference between these two store types is product consistency and quality. The products need to be more consistent at a dollar store, changing based on whatever the store can get at the right price. The quality of items may vary significantly, with some offering great value and others not. Conversely, discount stores often offer a consistent array of products and brands, and they can provide higher-quality items due to their more extensive scale and stronger relationships with manufacturers.

Another distinguishing factor is the store layout and shopping experience. Dollar stores are often smaller and more straightforward, with fewer frills and less focus on aesthetic appeal. The items are usually organized but less neatly than in a more upscale retail store. In contrast, discount stores are typically large, well-lit spaces with items neatly arranged in specific departments. Shopping in a discount store often feels like a treasure hunt, with the thrill of stumbling upon an unexpected bargain.

Conclusion: The Future of Dollar Stores

Dollar General sits at the pinnacle of the dollar store hierarchy, reigning as the largest dollar store in the United States regarding the number of stores and revenue. Dollar Tree and its subsidiary Family Dollar closely follow, securing the second spot. Five Below and 99 Cents Only Stores trail behind but continue to hold significant sway within specific demographics and regions.

As we gaze into the future of dollar stores, we see a landscape dominated by cost-conscious consumers who appreciate the value and convenience these stores offer. The rise of dollar stores is linear to an ever-growing demand for affordable shopping options, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. In an economy increasingly characterized by income disparity, dollar stores serve as a reliable oasis for budget-friendly shopping. They will likely continue expanding their reach and diversifying their offerings, thus cementing their standing in American retail.

Navigating through uncertain economic times, the dollar store model is a beacon of resilience, demonstrating that providing consistent value at low prices is a winning strategy. The future looks bright for dollar stores.


Hello! I'm Amma, a B.Ed. graduate from the University with a specialization in Geography Education. Despite the fact that it's a different field, I have a passion for exploring social phenomena that I studied in the subfields of Human Geography, such as Social Geography and Economic Geography. I possess a deep understanding of goods production, consumption, and distribution in relation to the environment in which they exist. I am here to provide answers to any questions you may have regarding products, grocery, services, and delivery on my website.

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