business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Christian Science Monitor reports on the dollar store boom, noting that half of Americans who earn more than $100,000 a year have shopped at a dollar store, that 43 percent of all Americans shop at dollar stores more than once a month, and that "the two biggest dollar store chains in the United States - Dollar General and Family Dollar - are breaking ground on new stores this year at a clip of more than one each day. These two companies operate more than 10,000 stores nationwide, nearly twice as many as six years ago."

The one-strong stigma against dollar stores is vanishing as the economy continues to stutter and thrift becomes fashionable, the Monitor reports. But more importantly, it reflects "a fundamental shift in the way American's shop."

The pricing strategy focuses on shoppers' desire for a simple shopping experience. "Finding something unexpected or stumbling on a bargain becomes a form of entertainment," Michael Solomon, a professor of consumer behavior at Auburn University in Alabama, tell the Monitor.
KC's View:
A great lesson for all retailers. Consumers like to be surprised. They like to be titillated. And they like a shopping experience with a simple, differentiated, unambiguous message.