We visited Dollar Tree and Dollar General to see which was a better store — and the winner was clear (DG, DLTR)

Dollar Tree offers a no-frills shopping experience.
Business Insider/Mary Hanbury
  • Dollar Tree and Dollar General are the two largest dollar stores in the US.
  • The stores are neck-and-neck in terms of store count and annual sales.
  • But, there are some big differences in the shopping experiences you’ll have at these stores.

Bargain-hunting has been the flavor of the past decade.

In the wake of the recession, cost-conscious consumers have flocked to off-price, thrift, and dollar stores in search of good deals. As a result, these stores have seen a surge in sales.

From 2010 to 2015, dollar store sales grew from $30.4 billion to $45.3 billion in the US, and hundreds of stores have opened. Credit-rating agency Moody’s said in a report on Dollar Tree that it is expecting 8% growth for the dollar-store segment in 2018. For US retail in general, it is expecting 3.5% to 4.5% growth in 2018.

Dollar General and Dollar Tree are the two largest dollar stores in the US. Based on numbers alone, these stores are almost identical.

Dollar Tree, which bought rival chain Family Dollar in 2015, has a slightly larger store count than Dollar General, but both sit around the 14,000-to-15,000-store mark. In terms of sales, Dollar Tree is a close second, generating $21.5 billion annually compared to $23.3 billion at Dollar General, according to Moody’s.

But there is a massive difference in shopping at these no-frills stores. First and foremost, Dollar Tree sells only products that are $1 or under, whereas Dollar General, which once did the same, is now more like discount retailer.

We visited both to see how they compared:

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