The age of the dollar store

Are we living in a "dollar-store economy?" That's what the Times Herald-Record asked yesterday in a story about the opening of new dollar stores in Livingston Manor, Florida and Wallkill. The answer is a resounding yes:

While more upscale retailers struggled through the recession, dollar stores have thrived. In the fiscal year that ended Jan. 30, Dollar Tree sold $5.2 billion in merchandise, up 13 percent from the previous year. The chain's profit jumped nearly 40 percent last year, as it opened a net 215 new stores ... Shoppers at What a Store! in the Town of Wallkill, which is not a traditional dollar store but offers deep discounts on overstock merchandise, arrive in cars ranging from Lexus to Kia, said general manager Tom Pinto. "Everybody's looking to save a buck today," he said. "People are struggling right now."