Dollar Tree is what is known as an extreme discounter. That means the store aims to provide rock bottom prices on goods. When you go into Dollar Tree, you know you’re going to see some insanely cheap stuff.
For a long time, that rock bottom price was the same throughout the store: $1. In late 2021, in response to both normal long-term inflation and, to a certain extent, recent inflationary pressures, Dollar Tree announced that it was raising prices for most products to $1.25.
However, the store has also been experimenting with something else over the last couple of years. It’s called Dollar Tree Plus, and it was a business model of having products in stores for more than the $1 (and later $1.25) price point. If that sounds like … well, other dollar stores like Dollar General or Dollar Tree’s sister store Family Dollar, you’re partially right. There are still limits, as we’ll see in a moment, but it makes Dollar Tree look somewhat more like other, less extreme dollar stores.
Dollar Tree Plus started out as a pilot product at just a handful of stores, but now it is starting to expand to more stores nationwide. If you live in a major metro area, there’s a good chance you either have seen or will see Plus setups in your stores. They’re easy enough to spot, thanks to displays that announce the sections.
When we visited a store with a Dollar Tree Plus selection, we noticed a few things. One, the Plus items were scattered around the store but were primarily concentrated in the non-food section of our store. Two, we saw two price points for Plus products: $3 or $5.
We didn’t see anything more than $5. That would be a difference from, say, Family Dollar or Dollar Tree, where you might see products priced up to $20.
We also noticed that many, although not all, of the Plus products were seasonal. We visited in December, for instance, and saw Christmas-themed products for $3 or $5. We would expect that as time goes on, the Plus products will continue to be a mix of both more semi-permanent products as well as products that change with the seasons.
We’ll be curious to see how this change impacts Dollar Tree going forward. Will Dollar Tree continue to be a mostly extreme discounter with mostly $1.25 products? Or does this mark a growing shift in the store toward being more like, say, Five Below?
Time will tell. For now, though, it does make Dollar Tree a different place to shop in than it did before.