Dollar Tree, Inc. is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells items for $1 or less. Headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, it is a Fortune 500 company and operates 13,600 stores throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states and Canada. Its stores are supported by a nationwide logistics network of eleven distribution centers. The company operates one-dollar stores under the names of Dollar Tree and Dollar Bills. The company also operates a multi-price-point variety chain under Family Dollar.
Dollar Tree competes in the dollar store and low-end retail markets. Each Dollar Tree stocks a variety of products including national, regional, and private-label brands. Departments found in a Dollar Tree store include health and beauty, food and snacks, party, seasonal décor, housewares, glassware, dinnerware, household cleaning supplies, candy, toys, gifts, gift bags and wrap, stationery, craft supplies, teaching supplies, automotive, electronics, pet supplies, and books. Most Dollar Tree stores also sell frozen foods and dairy items such as milk, eggs, pizza, ice cream, frozen dinners, and pre-made baked goods. In August 2012, the company began accepting manufacturer's coupons at all of its store locations.
In 1953, K. R. Perry opened a Ben Franklin variety store in Norfolk, Virginia, which later became known as K&K 5&10. In 1970, K.R. Perry, Doug Perry, and Macon Brock started K&K Toys in Norfolk, Virginia. This mall concept grew to over 130 stores on the East Coast. In 1986, Doug Perry, Macon Brock, and Ray Compton started another chain store called Only $1.00 with five stores, one in Georgia, one in Tennessee, and three in Virginia. The expansion of Dollar Stores was continued alongside K&K Toys stores, mostly in enclosed malls. In 1991, the corporation made a decision to focus exclusively on the expansion of dollar stores after selling K&K stores to KB Toys, a Melville Corporation.
In 1993, the name Only $1.00 was changed to Dollar Tree Stores to address what could be a multi-price-point strategy in the future, and part equity interest was sold to SKM partners, a private equity firm.
On March 6, 1995, Dollar Tree, Inc. went public on the NASDAQ exchange at $15 a share, with a market cap then calculated at $225 million.
In 1996, Dollar Tree acquired Dollar Bill$, Inc., a Chicago-based chain of 136 stores.
In 1997, the company opened its first distribution center and its new store support center, both located in Chesapeake, Virginia.
In 1998, Dollar Tree acquired 98-Cent Clearance Centers in California.
In 1999, Dollar Tree acquired Only $One stores based in New York state. This same year, the company opened its second Distribution Center in Olive Branch, Mississippi.
In 2000, Dollar Tree acquired Dollar Express, a Philadelphia-based company, and also built a new distribution center in Stockton, California. In 2001, the company opened two additional distribution centers, in Savannah, Georgia, and Briar Creek, Pennsylvania. In 2003, Dollar Tree acquired Salt Lake City, Utah-based Greenbacks, Inc., and opened a new distribution center in Marietta, Oklahoma.
In 2004, Dollar Tree opened its first store in North Dakota which marked its operation of stores in all 48 contiguous states. The company also opened new distribution centers in Joliet, Illinois, and Ridgefield, Washington.
In 2006, Dollar Tree celebrated its 20th year of retailing at a $1.00 price point, opened its 3,000th store, and acquired 138 DEAL$ stores, previously owned by SUPERVALU INC.
In 2007, Dollar Tree expanded its Briar Creek Distribution Center, crossed the $4 billion sales threshold, and had a market capitalization of $3.29 billion. In 2008, Dollar Tree earned a place in the Fortune 500. By the close of 2009, the company opened a store in Washington, D.C., and purchased a new distribution center in San Bernardino, California.
In 2009, Dollar Tree redesigned its website with a new e-commerce platform. DollarTree.com sells Dollar Tree merchandise in larger quantities to individuals, small businesses, and organizations. The company also advertises in-store events, specials, seasonal promotions, and featured products through the site and users can locate a retail store, research information about Dollar Tree, and view product recalls. Dollar Tree also recently added customer ratings and reviews and customer stories to the site.
In 2010, the corporation opened its 4,000th chain store and acquired 86 Canadian Dollar Giant stores which are based in Vancouver, British Columbia. The stores are operated in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. These are the first retail locations outside of the United States operated by Dollar Tree.
In 2011, Dollar Tree achieved total sales of $6.63 billion, opened 278 new stores, and completed a 400,000 square-foot expansion of its distribution center in Savannah, Georgia.
In 2012, Dollar Tree opened another 345 new stores and exceeded $7 billion in sales, with an end-of-the-year market cap at $9.13 billion.
On July 28, 2014, Dollar Tree announced it was offering $9.2 billion for the purchase of competitor chain store Family Dollar. On August 18, 2014, Dollar General lodged a competing bid of $9.7 billion for Family Dollar. The bid was rejected on August 20, 2014, by the Family Dollar board, which said it would proceed with the deal with Dollar Tree.
In January 2015, Dollar Tree announced plans to divest 300 stores in order to appease US regulators scrutinizing its proposed takeover of Family Dollar stores.
In June 2015, the firm agreed to sell 330 stores to private equity company Sycamore Partners as part of the approval process for its $8.5 billion takeover of Family Dollar.
Dollar Tree is classified as an extreme discount store. It claims to be able to achieve this because their buyers "work extremely hard to find the best bargains out there", and it has "great control over the tremendous buying power at the dollar price-point". Its prices are primarily designed to attract those with financial difficulties, but it has also become popular with more affluent customers.
On July 28, 2014, Dollar Tree announced that a deal had been reached and approved by both parties to purchase Family Dollar for $8.5 billion plus acquisition of the $1 billion in debt currently held by Family Dollar. The deal came in the month following activist investor and major shareholder Carl Icahn's demand that Family Dollar be promptly put up for sale. After their reported deal had been struck, Dollar General entered the bidding, surpassing Dollar Tree's offer, with a $9.7 billion bid on August 18, 2014. On August 20, 2014 Family Dollar rejected the Dollar General bid, saying it was not a matter of price, but concerns over antitrust issues that had convinced the company and its advisers that the deal could not be concluded on the terms proposed. The Family Dollar board had been analyzing potential antitrust issues that could arise from doing a deal with Dollar General, since the start of the year a statement from CEO Howard Levine outlined.
Dollar Giant was incorporated in 2001 in Vancouver. On October, 11th, 2010, Dollar Tree announced its acquisition of Dollar Giant for $52 million. At the time of the acquisition, Dollar Giant had about 85 retail outlets in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. Approximately 30 of its retail locations are located in British Columbia, making it the largest dollar store chain in that province. It was Canada's fourth largest operator of dollar stores. Dollar Tree has since rebranded all of its Dollar Giant stores to Dollar Tree; these were the first retail locations outside of the United States operated by Dollar Tree. The company now operates 227 stores across Canada, concentrated in Western Canada and Ontario. Its Canadian merchandising team is located at 205 Courtney Park Dr. West (Unit 105), Mississauga, ON, L52 0A5 while the corporate offices remain in Burnaby BC.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists several recalls for products sold at Dollar Tree stores. The recalled products include salsa jars with broken glass inside them, hot-melt mini glue guns (recalled in January 2008) which could short circuit and cause burns and candle sets (recalled in February 2004) which could produce excessive flame.