Dollar Tree is planning to close up to 390 Family Dollar stores this year, and although it’s unclear how many of those stores are in Illinois, shoppers in the area are concerned about what the closures could mean for them.
The company said Wednesday that it closed 84 “under-performing” Family Dollar stores in the fourth quarter. Dollar Tree, which purchased Family Dollar in 2015, also said that if it doesn’t get rental concessions from landlords at those locations, it could speed up the pace of store closures across the country.
That news is not sitting well with local shoppers who visit the stores often for everything from food to household items.
“That would definitely be a bad thing,” J.P. Payton, a local customer of the retail chain, said. “It’s like the go-to store. They open at a decent time, close at a decent time, and you can always count on them to have what you need.”
In addition to the nearly 400 stores that could shutter under the company’s new plan, another 200 will be rebranded as Dollar Tree locations. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but shoppers say that the two stores are not the same.
“At Dollar Tree, they don’t carry a lot of the good brands,” Payton said. “You can find Lysol here, but at Dollar Tree, they’ve got the off-brand.”
As part of the rebranding, Dollar Tree said it plans to install adult beverages in approximately 1,000 stores, and to expand freezers and coolers at 400 more.
Whatever decision the company ends up making, customers hope that it won’t lead to store closures, and the loss of jobs, in areas that sorely need them.
“As long as the people have employment, that’s what I’m looking at. Employment for the people (in the area),” another customer told NBC 5.