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Family Dollar stresses value, convenience

NEW YORK — Value and convenience are the common needs of Family Dollar's growing customer base, Howard Levine, ceo, told analysts at last week's Banc of America's Consumer Conference.

"We carry merchandise the customer needs day in and day out," he said, of which domestics holds 8 percent.

With almost 4,000 stores already and thousands of other possible locations — "We're one of the fasting growing retailers," he said — Family Dollar is finding an increase in such customer groups as Hispanics, retirees, large families and dual-income families.

Another one of its advantages over such retailers as Wal-Mart, Levine added, is that, because of Family Dollar's smaller size, it's easier for customers to get in and out. Inventory turnover has also improved 40 percent.

With a five-year annual growth rate of 25 percent, Family Dollar will add to its support system as well, opening its sixth distribution center next year, as well as having a more detailed inventory.

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