Guess who's shopping at dollar stores? Well-to-do millennials

Thu Jun 16, 2016 1:29pm EDT
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By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Siddharth Cavale

June 16 (Reuters) - Victoria Marin, a 35-year old author and educator, used to spend hundreds of dollars at large party-goods retailers on supplies that ended up in the trash can.

But a visit to the neighborhood Dollar General store, mainly to stock up on cheaper paper napkins and plastic cups, completely changed the way she shopped.

She realized the store was more like a small supermarket, where she could buy groceries, Christmas decorations and even apparel at much cheaper prices than at a Walmart or a Shop Rite.

Marin, whose gross annual family income is about $150,000, said she would initially feel awkward about shopping at dollar stores.

That perception, however, changed in the past few years for thousands of shoppers like her as a shaky economy added a good dose of prudence to household budgets.

"As years passed and my family grew, I realized I could buy the same items at a dollar store for a fraction of the price," said Marin, whose family of six lives in upstate New York.

Marin is among a growing band of affluent millennials who prefer spending less on everyday stuff and splurging on big-ticket items like cars and homes.

They do not need to shop at dollar stores, which sell products mostly priced between $1 and $10, but are increasingly choosing to do so, a move that is reshaping the fortunes of many retailers.   Continued...