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Battle Over A Dollar: Dollar Tree Buys NC-Based Family Dollar

Dollar Tree
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina-based Family Dollar was opening hundreds of stores a year, until this year.  Now it’s being bought by Dollar Tree, one of its biggest rivals.

There are several Family Dollar discount stores in Durham, but they aren’t new.  In fact, Family Dollar announced earlier this year it would close 370 stores nationwide.

But Dollar Tree, where everything costs $1, is growing.  Yesterday, at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and Fayetteville Road in Durham, workers were busy laying asphalt for a new parking lot at a brand new Dollar Tree. 

Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser says the combined group of stores will operate under both banners.

“We will utilize the size and scale of the new company to serve a broader range of customers in more ways, offering better prices and more value for the customer," said Sasser.

Sasser says the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar price points are important and some stores could change formats in the future.

"We believe that there's opportunity to maximize and optimize those formats by putting the right banners in the right place."

Sasser and Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine addressed financial analysts and journalists on a conference call Monday.  Levine said he is glad Family Dollar would retain its brand.

"Family Dollar has achieved much since my father opened the first Family Dollar store in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1959," said Levine.  "We are confident that together with Dollar Tree, Family Dollar will have an even greater opportunity to continue to grow and improve our business."

Family Dollar had grown to more than 8,200 stores in 46 states.

Dollar Tree is buying Family Dollar for $8.5 billion.  The combined company will have more than 13,000 stores across the US and Canada and 145,000 employees.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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