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Report: Chain 'Dollar Stores' are harmful to communities

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Dollar-store chains are rapidly growing across the country, with more locations than McDonald's, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart combined, according to a new report, which claims their rapid growth is due in part to targeting low-income communities.

The report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance claimed Dollar General and Dollar Tree -- which owns Family Dollar -- choose disenfranchised areas and Black and Latino neighborhoods in or near urban centers to set up shop.

In 2021, the Apopka City Council took steps to limit dollar store chains in its community.

Aaron Weber, a concerned citizen in Micanopy, said he fought a dollar store entering his community based on what he argued is plaguing America with increased risks of obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

"They are a public health disaster from what they sell," Weber stressed. "I'd rather have a liquor store in my community than a dollar store because liquor stores only sell alcohol, and dollar stores sell alcohol plus a lot of processed foods, a lot of stuff that's high in sugar, cigarettes too."

The chains have become a go-to grocery destination for cash-strapped shoppers, though Dollar Tree recently announced it will no longer sell eggs because the cost skyrocketed during the fall. In a statement, the Dollar General Corporation said the Institute "is not a reliable source for information regarding Dollar General, or our efforts to meet the value and convenience needs of millions of Americans for nearly 85 years."

Kennedy Smith, the senior researcher at the Institute, said its investigation indicates the stores are a threat to existing businesses, especially food stores.

"And the concern there is that, by edging out stores that provide good, healthy food options for communities, they are actually creating food deserts, or exacerbating food deserts that may already exist," Smith explained.

Dollar General said it offers fresh produce in more than 3,000 stores, with plans to do so in about 2,000 more this year. The company added its stores are often in locations other retailers have chosen not to serve.

Smith, however, describes tactics used to drive local grocers and retailers out of business. The report said since 2019, people in 75 cities and towns have organized to block new locations being built.

Dollar Stores, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Florida News Connection, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

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  • MamaMia

    There were people who called Apopka " the dollar store capital of the world". It became the long running joke, but have you all opened your eyes, and looked around at all the other cities you brag about, that they have plenty of them too? There is a new one being built right now on 441 in Mt. Dora, right before the old train trestle, and before the 46 overpass on the right. I think this damage report is boloney. The only reason the dollar stores are adding fresh produce is because of city councils' and county councils' interventions because they were "so worried about the residents health".....OMG, get me a break, like they care about us residents' health? They sure love the bars and breweries though! Just read the guy above, he said he would rather have a liquor store. If the items the dollar store sell are so bad for our health, then the drug stores, grocery stories, discount stores, convenient stores, and department stores too, are just as guilty.

    Wednesday, March 22 Report this

  • MamaMia

    I meant, OMG give me a break

    Wednesday, March 22 Report this

  • DrOlmstead

    The complainer has never seen the product line. They have organic and sugar free products, also. They carry the same brand names as Publix and Winn Dixie for 30 % less and much less walking.

    Minority communities and rural areas are food deserts, charities like Rotary have been fighting to get food sources, grocery stores, and restaurants into rural and minority neighborhoods and this man wants to bar them?

    I remember driving 20 minutes to a grocery store. Many in those areas don’t have their own transportation.

    They are adding fresh foods on top of canned and frozen. This is an unreasonable position for someone who doesn’t understand why the big stores aren’t in the areas.

    Wednesday, March 22 Report this

  • MamaMia

    It is true that some of the dollar stores are adding fresh produce I was at the Family Dollar on 441 and Piedmont this morning, and as I walked in, I saw a display with white potato bags, bags of fresh lemons, apple bags, bags of onions, and bags of oranges. So it is true they are adding fresh produce.

    Thursday, March 23 Report this

  • MamaMia

    Yesterday was a very bad day for me. I will tell you all about it later, but I had to go in for surgery to remove a malignant cancerous lesion on my forehead. Yes, it was cancer! They ruined me, honestly. They cut into my forehead a circle bigger than a quarter coin, and down to the bone, deep, to my skull. They showed me with a hand mirror, and I had to wait around a lot of the day for micro results to see if they needed to cut more! They took a long time stitching it up. They even pulled my eyebrow upward and shaved the small front part of my hair. I am sick from it! I look horrible! I have a vertical two inch wound and a cross wound one inch across that looks like a cross wound in my forehead. I am not to allow water on the wound and keep ice bags on it, for the bleeding and swelling. I am not to do much, especially bend over or heavy lifting. I did not know it was going to be this big of a wound! It was called Mosh surgery or something like that. OMG....stay out of the sun, because I never did! People see me, and say my husband beat me. It is not funny I cried all day yesterday, today I am feeling more like taking on the world!

    Thursday, March 23 Report this

  • nyxnine

    Isn't the obesity scare an old alt right talking point. This is clearly about money and something more than what the article is pretending to be concerned about.

    I have 99 cent stores in the state i live in. They have the same foods the grocery stores have.

    This article is misleading for an agenda.

    Saturday, May 20 Report this