We have five Dollar General's in Sedalia as well as a Dollar Tree location.  I stop by these locations a fair amount of time, to pick up some incidentals like toiletries or a loaf of bread.  Then tend to be cheaper there.  I have noticed that these places are seeing a lot more customers than perhaps they used to.  Have any of you noticed this? There may be a reason why.

The Great Recession in 2008 pushed struggling Americans to rely more heavily on Dollar stores and prompted other shoppers to visit them for the first time. Inflation certainly is playing a role this time around, as well as the highest gas prices in our lifetime.  Unemployment is at a very low point, so if you want a job, there are options out there.  Wages are going up a little.

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But inflation has surged, with the Consumer Price Index rising by 8.3% in the 12 months ending in April. This means the cost of essentials is eating away at workers' fatter paychecks.  You can read more about this HERE.  More consumers are hesitating at buying bigger-ticket items like electronics and furniture and switching their spending to necessities, such as food and household staples.

Since we are all trying to squeeze every penny we can, those discount places like the Dollar General stores are getting more people shopping there.  They also seem to be expanding their options.  The Dollar General on Limit Ave, is now offering fresh fruit, pre-made salad options.  I hadn't seen those options in a while.  Perhaps this is to try and lure people away from the bigger supermarkets and chains like Wal-Mart and Target.  It appears to be working.

Dollar General, the largest U.S. dollar store chain, is seeing its core customers — those with household incomes under $40,000 a year — "start to shop more intentionally," CEO Todd Vasos said on an earnings call last month. I know that there appears to be more $1 options at Dollar General, and the Dollar Tree on Broadway, seem to be getting more guests trying to save a few bucks.  It certainly has been a blessing for me.  I am sure families are also forgoing the name brand items and going a touch cheaper during this tough time.

Have you found yourself shopping at these places more often lately? Has it worked out? It certainly has worked out for me.  And if things continue this way, these places might get busier and busier.

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