Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree, formerly known as Only $1.00, is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells items for $1 or less. Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, it is a Fortune 500 company and operates 15,115 stores throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Canada.[1] Its stores are supported by a nationwide logistics network of twenty four distribution centers. The company operates one-dollar stores under the names of Dollar Tree and Dollar Bills. The company also operates a multi-price-point variety chain under the Family Dollar banner.

Dollar Tree, Inc.
Dollar Tree
  • Only $1.00
  • Dollar Tree Stores, Inc.
IndustryRetail, variety, discount
  • K&K 5&10 (1953–1986)
  • Only $1.00 (1986–1993)
Founded1986; 35 years ago (1986)
Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
Number of locations
15,288 (February 2020) [1]
Areas served
United States, Canada
Key people
Mike Witynski (CEO)
ProductsFood and snacks, health and beauty care products, housewares, books and toys
RevenueIncrease US$22.246 billion (2017)[1]
Increase US$1.999 billion (2017)[1]
Increase US$1.714 billion (2017)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$16.333 billion (2017)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$7.182 billion (2017)[1]
Number of employees
193,100 [1]
DivisionsDollar Tree Canada
SubsidiariesFamily Dollar
Map of Dollar Tree stores in USA, as of December 2020 [2]

Dollar Tree competes in the dollar store and low-end retail markets. Each Dollar Tree stocks a variety of products including national, regional, and private-label brands. Departments found in a Dollar Tree store include health and beauty, food and snacks, party, seasonal décor, housewares, glassware, dinnerware, household cleaning supplies, candy, toys, gifts, gift bags and wrap, stationery, craft supplies, teaching supplies, automotive, electronics, pet supplies, and books. Most Dollar Tree stores also sell frozen foods and dairy items such as milk, eggs, pizza, ice cream, frozen dinners, and pre-made baked goods. In August 2012, the company began accepting manufacturer's coupons at all of its store locations.


Early yearsEdit

In 1953, K. R. Perry[3] opened a Ben Franklin variety store in Norfolk, Virginia, which later became known as K&K 5&10.

In 1970, K. R. Perry, Doug Perry, and Macon Brock started K&K Toys in Norfolk, Virginia. This mall concept grew to over 130 stores on the East Coast.[citation needed]

In 1986, Doug Perry, Macon Brock, and Ray Compton started another chain store called Only $1.00 with five stores, one in Georgia, one in Tennessee, and three in Virginia. The expansion of dollar stores was continued alongside K&K Toys stores, mostly in enclosed malls.[citation needed]

In 1991, the corporation made a decision to focus exclusively on the expansion of dollar stores after selling K&K stores to KB Toys, owned by Melville Corporation.[citation needed]


In 1993, the name Only $1.00 was changed to Dollar Tree Stores to address what could be a multi-price-point strategy in the future, and part equity interest was sold to SKM partners, a private equity firm.

Brock and the co-founders of Dollar Tree got the idea for the company from another retailer known as Everything's A Dollar, which went bankrupt in the 1990s.[4]

On March 6, 1995, Dollar Tree, Inc. went public on the NASDAQ exchange at $15 a share, with a market cap then calculated at $225 million.

In 1996, Dollar Tree acquired Dollar Bill$, Inc., a Chicago-based chain of 136 stores.

In 1997, the company opened its first distribution center and its new store support center, both located in Chesapeake, Virginia.

In 1998, Dollar Tree acquired 98-Cent Clearance Centers in California.

In 1999, Dollar Tree acquired Only $One stores based in New York state.[5] That same year, the company opened its second distribution center in Olive Branch, Mississippi.


This Dollar Tree store in Northwood, Ohio, is one of the few stores that continues to use the defunct Super Dollar Tree banner.

In 2000, Dollar Tree acquired Dollar Express, a Philadelphia-based company, and also built a new distribution center in Stockton, California. In 2001, the company opened two additional distribution centers, in Savannah, Georgia, and Briar Creek, Pennsylvania. In 2003, Dollar Tree acquired Salt Lake City, Utah-based Greenbacks, Inc., and opened a new distribution center in Marietta, Oklahoma.

In 2004, Dollar Tree opened its first store in North Dakota which marked its operation of stores in all 48 contiguous states. The company also opened new distribution centers in Joliet, Illinois, and Ridgefield, Washington.

In 2006, Dollar Tree celebrated its 20th year of retailing at a $1.00 price point, opened its 3,000th store, and acquired 138 DEAL$ stores, previously owned by SUPERVALU INC.

In 2007, Dollar Tree expanded its Briar Creek Distribution Center, crossed the $4 billion sales threshold, and had a market capitalization of $3.29 billion. In 2008, Dollar Tree earned a place in the Fortune 500. By the close of 2009, the company opened a store in Washington, D.C., and purchased a new distribution center in San Bernardino, California.

In 2009, Dollar Tree redesigned its website with a new e-commerce platform. sells Dollar Tree merchandise in larger quantities to individuals, small businesses, and organizations. The company also advertises in-store events, specials, seasonal promotions, and featured products through the site and users can locate a retail store, research information about Dollar Tree, and view product recalls. Dollar Tree also recently added customer ratings and reviews and customer stories to the site.


Interior of a Dollar Tree in Gillette, Wyoming

In 2010, the corporation opened its 4,000th chain store and acquired 86 Canadian Dollar Giant stores which are based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The stores are operated in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. These are the first retail locations outside of the United States operated by Dollar Tree.

In 2011, Dollar Tree achieved total sales of $6.63 billion, opened 278 new stores, and completed a 400,000 square-foot expansion of its distribution center in Savannah, Georgia.

In 2012, Dollar Tree opened another 345 new stores and exceeded $7 billion in sales, with an end-of-the-year market cap at $9.13 billion.

On July 28, 2014, Dollar Tree announced that it was offering $9.2 billion for the purchase of competitor chain store Family Dollar. On August 18, 2014, Dollar General lodged a competing bid of $9.7 billion for Family Dollar.[6] The bid was rejected on August 20, 2014, by the Family Dollar board, which said it would proceed with the deal with Dollar Tree.[7]

In January 2015, Dollar Tree announced plans to divest 300 stores in order to appease US regulators scrutinizing its proposed takeover of Family Dollar stores.[8]

In June 2015, the firm agreed to sell 330 stores to private equity company Sycamore Partners as part of the approval process for its $8.5 billion takeover of Family Dollar.[9]

The company was ranked 134 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the United States corporations by revenue.[10]

In March 2019, as part of its reposition plan, Dollar Tree announced that it will close up to 390 Family Dollar stores along with renovating 1,000 other locations.[11]

On March 3, 2021, it was announced that Dollar Tree had quietly introduced a combination Family Dollar/Dollar Tree store concept with the first one opening in late 2019. Dollar Tree has opened and operated nearly 50 locations by the end of 2020, primarily in small towns with populations of just a few thousand people.[12]

Business strategyEdit

Exterior of a store in Hillsboro, Oregon

Dollar Tree is classified as an extreme discount store.[13] It claims to be able to achieve this because their buyers "work extremely hard to find the best bargains out there", and it has "great control over the tremendous buying power at the dollar price-point".[14] Its prices are primarily designed to attract those with financial difficulties, but it has also become popular with more affluent customers.[13]

Family Dollar biddingEdit

On July 28, 2014, Dollar Tree announced that a deal had been reached and approved by both parties to purchase Family Dollar for $8.5 billion plus acquisition of the $1 billion in debt currently held by Family Dollar.[15][16][17] The deal came in the month following activist investor and major shareholder[18] Carl Icahn's demand that Family Dollar be promptly put up for sale.[19] After their reported deal had been struck, Dollar General entered the bidding, surpassing Dollar Tree's offer, with a $9.7 billion bid on August 18, 2014.[20] On August 20, 2014, Family Dollar rejected the Dollar General bid, saying it was not a matter of price, but concerns over antitrust issues that had convinced the company and its advisers that the deal could not be concluded on the terms proposed. The Family Dollar board had been analyzing potential antitrust issues that could arise from doing a deal with Dollar General, since the start of the year a statement from CEO Howard Levine outlined.[7]


Dollar Tree Stores Canada, Inc.
FormerlyDollar Giant (2001–2010)
FoundedVancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2001)
FounderJoseph Calvano (co-founder)
HeadquartersBurnaby, British Columbia, Canada
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Neil Curran (President)
ParentDollar Tree (2010–present)

Dollar Tree stores in Canada sell items for C$1.25 or less.[21] On October 11, 2010, Dollar Tree announced its acquisition of Dollar Giant, originally incorporated in 2001 in Vancouver, Canada, for $52 million.[22][23] At the time of the acquisition, Dollar Giant had about 85 retail outlets in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario.[24] Approximately 30 of its retail locations are in British Columbia, making it the largest dollar store chain in that province. It was Canada's fourth largest operator of dollar stores. Dollar Tree has since rebranded all of its Dollar Giant stores to Dollar Tree; these were the first retail locations outside of the United States operated by Dollar Tree. The company now operates 227 stores across Canada, concentrated in Western Canada and Ontario. Dollar Tree Canada's merchandising team is located in Mississauga, Ontario, while its corporate office remains in Burnaby in Greater Vancouver.[25]


The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists several recalls for products sold at Dollar Tree stores. The recalled products include salsa jars with broken glass inside them, hot-melt mini glue guns (recalled in January 2008) which could short circuit and cause burns,[26] and candle sets (recalled in February 2004) which could produce excessive flame.[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Dollar Tree, Inc. 2017 Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. March 2018.
  2. ^ "Dollar Tree Locations". Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Dollar Tree, Inc.: History". Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Hagerty, James R. (December 22, 2017). "Macon Brock, Dollar Tree Founder, Searched the World for Bargains". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  5. ^ MENT, JONATHAN. "Dollar Tree to open Ulster Avenue branch soon". Daily Freeman. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "Race to buy Family Dollar heats up with Dollar General hiking bid to $8.95 bn". Business Sun. August 18, 2014. Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Family Dollar rejects $9.7 bn acquisition bid by Dollar General". Charlotte News.Net. August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  8. ^ "Dollar Tree expects to shed less than 300 stores to buy Family Dollar" (Press release). Reuters. January 12, 2015. Archived from the original on January 24, 2015. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  9. ^ "Dollar Tree to sell 330 Family Dollar stores to Sycamore Partners, Reuters, 29 May 2015". Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  10. ^ "Dollar Tree". Fortune. Retrieved November 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Bursztynsky, Jessica (March 6, 2019). "Dollar Tree to close up to 390 Family Dollar stores this year". Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Pierceall, Kimberly. "Dollar Tree launches new store concept, announces $25.5 billion in sales last year". The Virginia Pilot. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  13. ^ a b Hitt, Jack (August 18, 2011). "The Dollar-Store Economy". The New York Times. Retrieved November 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Dollar Tree, Inc.: Frequently Asked Questions". Dollar Tree. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  15. ^ "Dollar Tree to buy Family Dollar to stave off competition". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  16. ^ "Charlotte region loses corporate headquarters in Family Dollar buyout". charlotteobserver. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
  17. ^ Paul Ziobro and Shelly Banjo (July 28, 2014). "Battle for Poor Shoppers Fuels Dollar-Store Deal". WSJ. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  18. ^ "fdosch13d060614.htm". Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  19. ^ "fdosch13damd10619ex1.htm". Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  20. ^ Davidson, Paul; Shell, Adam. "Dollar General offers $9.7B for Family Dollar". The USA Today. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  21. ^ "Home". Dollar Tree Canada. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  22. ^ "Dollar Tree Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Canadian Dollar Giant Stores" (Press release). Business Wire. October 11, 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  23. ^ "Dollar Tree to buy Dollar Giant stores for $52M". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. October 11, 2010. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  24. ^ "Dollar Giant is now Dollar Tree Canada! - Dollar Tree Canada". Archived from the original on June 16, 2015. Retrieved May 17, 2015.
  25. ^ "Contact Us". Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  26. ^ Hot glue gun recall Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,
  27. ^ Candle set recall Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,

External linksEdit