By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Dec. 15, 2012
Another dollar store might be coming soon to Squamish.
Dollar Tree plans to open a location in downtown Squamish on Winnipeg Street, in the building adjacent to Sears Store.
The building was previously occupied by Home Hardware store and by a grocery store before that.
Calls and emails to Dollar Tree head office were not returned, but sources close to the project confirmed the dollar store chain plans to open the store by the end of March.
It would be the third dollar store in downtown Squamish, existing alongside Only Deals Dollar store in the Chieftain Mall and the newly opened Happy Hills Market on Cleveland Ave.
The market for cheaper goods is getting crowded in Squamish.
Along with three dollar stores, there are at least four other second-hand goods stores in downtown Squamish.
Red Apple, Pearl’s Second, Mini Flea Market, and St. Joseph’s thrift store all vie for business on the main drag of our town.
Edith Cutler from Mini Flea Market doesn’t seem to mind another dollar store.
“The more places people have to go to shop, the better it is,” she said.
She doesn’t feel threatened by the dollar store because what she offers is different from dollar store, she insists.
A few steps away is Red Apple, which took over from Fields last September.
Deron Collins from Red Apple says business has been slowly picking up, but the new dollar store might cut into it.
Collins said people coming into Red Apple tend to be from low-income backgrounds, although he notices a variety of people looking for deals.
“Where else can you get a litre of coke for $1,” he asked, adding that appeal of a good deal cuts across social class, more so in a tough economy.
Mike Baloney brought his wife and grand children to shop at Red Apple, and said he wouldn’t mind seeing another dollar store in town.
“People don’t have money these days,” he said.
Squamish resident Mark Wilmot feels there are one too many dollar stores in downtown Squamish.
“Why can’t we have something cool and different here instead of another dollar store,” he wondered.
In the kind of economic slump the world—and our town—has experienced, a dollar store can be a sure bet for its owner.
Dollar stores have recorded increased sales across North America as a tepid economy forces people to pinch pennies.
Family Dollar, CNN reported this April, reported higher-than-expected quarterly profits as it sold more food items at its stores.
The chain also saw net profits soar to $136.4 million, an increase of $ 12 million from previous years.
Dollar General was 15 places up on the exclusive club of 500 biggest American companies in 2009.
Another dollar store made its first entry into that exclusive club: Dollar Tree.
Dollar Tree also plans to grow its store base by 25 in 2012, with growth projectins looking at 1,000 stores across Canada in the long run.