business news in context, analysis with attitude

Newsday reports on the impact that dollar stores are having on shoppers in New York, prompted by a Retail Forward study saying that 76 percent of US households shopped at a dollar store in the past six months, and that same-store sales in the dollar store sector grew better than six percent in the past year.

The paper looks at a Manhattan resident who has discovered the dollar store experience - an educated professional woman who is a fellowship coordinator for a postgraduate immunology program, and who usually shops at brand-name department stores. Not exactly your stereotypical dollar store shopper. And, conscious of this new demographic, "dollar stores are expanding their products to attract the brie-and-caviar crowd, proving the dictum that everyone, even a multimillionaire, loves a bargain."

Newsday writes, "To reshape customer perceptions, dollar stores are cleaning up presentation and investing in technology to track inventory and make the shopping experience more conventional - not the grab-bag treasure hunt that both frustrates and delights many shoppers."
KC's View:
Yesterday, we were writing about how drug stores were infringing on traditional supermarket territory. Today, it's dollar stores.

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want a piece of the supermarket business?

Are there any mainstream food retailers out there who remain tethered to the quaint notions that "business as usual" or "a return to fundamentals" is enough to stay afloat in 2004 and beyond?

Actually, we all know the answer to that last one…the better question is what it will take to shake the foundations at these companies and convince them that there is nothing usual or fundamental about the current competitive environment?