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BrandWeek reports on a new study by The Nielsen Company saying that “high- and middle-income shoppers are increasingly turning to dollar stores.”

The Nielsen research suggests that as much as 75 percent of the merchandise carried by so-called dollar stores actually costs more than a buck, but that this actually may be making the format more attractive to a broader constituency. BrandWeek writes, “The increased variety of products and price points are drawing an expanded and more affluent consumer base to these inexpensive retailers. Households with incomes higher than $100,000 spent 18 percent more at dollar stores in the second half of 2008 compared to the year prior. Among low- and mid-income households, dollar stores are outpacing other major consumer packaged goods channels. Overall, 65 million consumers shopped at a dollar store last year.”

KC's View:
The ongoing discussion seems to be about whether consumers will continue this kind of behavior even after the economy recovers. I have to be honest here…I’m just not convinced that households making more than a hundred grand a year are going to be going to dollar stores if they don't have to.