Dollar Store

Pondering the past decade or so,  I can’t honestly remember my first dollar encounter. Dollar stores have become second nature; more prevalent than corner groceries, dollar stores crept into the market place like stealth bombers. The lure of inexpensive wrapping paper, household gadgets and craft supplies presented themselves as the bee’s knees. My dollar marriage soured around the time a cheap “energy saving” dollar store lightbulb burst into flames. Burst may be a bit of an exaggeration – it was more like toxic smoke spewing from the coil as alarming heat snaked it’s way to the business end. I wasn’t  surprised, I was mad at myself for being stupid – you get what you pay for.

Dollar stores have become one of the fastest growing businesses in North America. Once upon a time people wanting to invest in a franchise looked at fast food – move over hamburgers – dollar stores now trade on the stock exchange. Not content with gift wrap and plastic tubs, they fancy themselves as grocers, pharmacists and home décor specialists. There was a time when WalMart meant the end of small retailers – now Wal Mart has dollar stores to fear.

The web is ablaze with stories on WalMart; debate over the percentage of goods made in China surface every other day. Wal Mart may have started the cheap at any cost craze – dollar stores close the deal. Dollar stores have become such a way of life, I see no turning back.

I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry; consumers have become so stupid, all that matters is the sticker price. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone that suicide nets are being installed in Chinese factories – conditions being so abhorrent, workers jump to their deaths rather than face another day. Nary a thought is given to banned chemicals or pesticides in food products – as long as that bag of garlic powder or honey bear is only a dollar, everybody is happy. Dangerous levels of lead in children’s toys or cosmetics – who cares, it only cost a dollar.

9 thoughts on “Dollar Store

  1. I have to admit I sometimes use the dollar store, there are several but the one I use is the original. I don’t buy food in there but will often buy items that are cheaper than wall mart. It’s no secret I am on a fixed income so I have a budget and have to stick to it.

  2. I’m with you! Hubby and I rarely disagree but he does the shopping and goes to Walmart because he saves so much money. I would rather eat less than support Walmart…somehow, I feel that Walmart and dollar stores remind me of drug induced zombies willingly marching their way into a fiery inferno…feeling no pain as their lives are instantly vaporized. I miss Mom and Pop!

  3. I too grew up in the ‘Five and Dime’ world, but to be truthful I have no idea how much of their product was made in america, or made in China (as the ubiquitous bad guy of the day). And I don’t think it a bad thing that people watch their budget — after all — someone has to — even if it isn’t the U.S. Congress and other politicians.

    And I don’t think we can ‘blame’ Sam Walton for starting a Walmart or the Dollar Store people for trying to be one up on Walmart. The problem with Walmart and the Dollar stores is that neighbors are willing and eager to see their neighbors put out of work so that they can save a few dollars each week. This idea that money is more important than community is killing the heart and soul of citizens everywhere that capitalism reaches.

    Sure, it’s nice to have economic freedom to make a profit, make a fortune, make paupers out of your neighbors. But eventually you become your own neighbor and buying based on price alone comes back to haunt you because all you can find is cheap merchandise that doesn’t last and a population of workers with no jobs and no money to buy anything.

    We’re so smart we’ve outsmarted ourselves.

    A retired photographer looks at life from behind an RV steering wheel.
    Life Unscripted

    • I too recall the “five and dime” era – these variety stores were nothing like the dollar or WalMarts of today.I don’t blame WalMart or any particular retailer.

      We are cutting off our noses to spite our face – I’m no economist but can’t help but feel uneasy about the result.

      I have nothing against discounted, affordable goods; I get that they are the saving grace for many fixed/low income people.

      I take issue with faulty, dangerous, unregulated or un- inspected goods being the only affordable answer for these people. You said it so well “we’re so smart we’ve outsmarted ourselves”

      I wrote a post some time ago titled “Is That Honey in Your Bear” it explains how Chinese honey imports have been banned by America so the Chinese “launder” honey exports through India. It’s the tip of an extremely large iceburg…

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