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The San Diego Union Tribune reports that Southern Californians are embracing the dollar store concept. With the economy there continuing to experience serious problems, residents are "buying everything from bananas and yogurt to box cutters and sponges, and paying far less than they would in drug and grocery stores."

And, it doesn't seem to be just lower income people, as high-income residents are taking advantage of the savings as well.

One of the chief beneficiaries: 99¢ Only Stores.

"Five years ago, the first 99¢ Only Store opened in San Diego County, in El Cajon," the paper reports. "Now, there are 11 in San Diego County, and 154 in three states in locations as varied as San Ysidro and Beverly Hills (its most profitable store)."
KC's View:
Sure, the lousy economy and the low prices are a natural fit.

But it is important to realize that these dollars stores also tend to create a differentiated shopping experience for their consumers, offering them low prices as well as surprises, a congenial atmosphere, and a knack for convincing the shopper that she's smart for being there.

That's no mean feat. And we're convinced that it is a central reason for their growth and success.