Friday, August 4, 2017

Dizzying Drama in the Dollar Store Domain

Following the May closure of a number of Family Dollar stores in metro Atlanta and around the country, the retailer is coming back to at least one neighborhood.
The new Family Dollar should look similar to this 
A Family Dollar store that most recently operated as "Dollar Express" at the corner of Metropolitan Parkway and Cleveland Avenue [2690 Metropolitan Parkway] in southwest Atlanta closed in May, and is being reopened as a Dollar General.  About a mile and half away at 1932 Metropolitan Parkway, plans are underway to replace an existing but aging car wash with a new Family Dollar store.  The former Family Dollar store opened in 2011 and replaced a shuttered Mrs. Winner's restaurant.   
The Dollar Express brand was created by private equity firm Sycamore Partners in 2015 when they purchased 330 Family Dollar stores from Dollar Tree.  The divestiture satisfied a condition set forth by the Federal Trade Commission in connection with Dollar Tree's then recent acquisition of Family Dollar Stores, Inc.  At the time of the divestiture, representatives from Sycamore Partners said they were looking forward to growing the Dollar Express brand nationwide.  

This past April, their plans apparently changed, as they announced they would close all 323 Dollar Express stores, and sell them to rival retailer Dollar General.  The closures, including a total of fourteen in Georgia, were the second significant acquisition for Dollar General in the past twelve months.  Last summer, Dollar General scooped up a total of 41 Walmart Express stores, joining the fuel world as they continued to operate the gas stations at 37 of the former Walmart Express stores.  

Many of the Georgia Dollar Express stores, including the aforementioned store on Metropolitan Parkway, on Cascade Avenue in Atlanta and on Buford Highway in Brookhaven, are actively converting to Dollar General stores.  
Workers prepare to install a new Dollar General sign at Northeast Plaza in Brookhaven 
This is the complete list of the Family Dollar Dollar Express stores that closed earlier this year.  

1291 Columbia Drive in Decatur 
2628 Rainbow Way in Decatur 
4824 Flat Shoals Parkway in  Decatur 
2975 Headland Blvd Atlanta in Atlanta
2310 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Atlanta 
8775 Roswell Road in Atlanta  
807 Cascade SW in Atlanta  
2779 Lakewood Avenue in Atlanta 
3349 Buford Highway NE in Brookhaven  
2690 Metropolitan Parkway SW in Atlanta
6355 Jimmy Carter Blvd in Norcross 
5209 Memorial Drive  in Stone Mountain 
4328 Buena Vista Road in Columbus
5745 Jonesboro Road in Lake City 

The plot thickened in June with the revelation that Dollar Express/Sycamore Partners was suing Dollar Tree, and Dollar Tree was suing Dollar Express/Sycamore Partners.  

The Dollar Express suit alleged that Dollar Tree and Family Dollar sabotaged Dollar Express’ business by saddling the fledgling company with  “underqualified” and “inattentive” employees.  The suit also alleged that Dollar Tree's expansion strategy included opening Family Dollar stores nearby — sometimes next door or across the street from existing Dollar Express stores.

Dollar Tree's suit alleged that Dollar Express and its owners Sycamore Partners, siphoned off funds and failed to pay Dollar Tree over $50 million for goods and services. 

Did you ever visit a Dollar Express store?  If you are a landlord and had the choice of leasing to Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, which do you prefer?  What are your thoughts about Dollar General getting into the fuel business?

Please share your thoughts below.  


Anonymous said...

Dollar Tree is the only one I would prefer. Dollar General would be next. As a child Family Dollar was a great store to go into but I wouldn't step into one today and would never move to a neighbor hood that had one nearby.

Chantel said...

I have never been in a Dollar Express store. Honestly, I wouldn't even notice one if I was driving by. However, the customer service at ALL dollar stores has always left much to be desired.

Anonymous said...

In other "Dollar Store" news. I think they're opening a Dollar General in the Stars & Stripes Shopping Center (North River I think) in Sandy Springs)

Atlantan99 said...

@Anon RE: North River,

You are correct. That is another former Family Dollar / Dollar Express store.

Anonymous said...

There's a brand new Family Dollar store at E Ponce and Valley Brook...hardly the 'hood! It's a nice store = clean, well stocked and organized.

Anonymous said...

Customer service? It's a DOLLAR store. All they need to do is stock the shelves and operate a checkout!! That's why items cost only $1.

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