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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Jul. 6, 202212:10 AM EST

Combo Family Dollar-Dollar Tree stores in review for Jacksonville and Hilliard

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The locations appear to be the first of their kind in Florida.

What appear to be Florida’s first combined Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores are in review in Jacksonville and Hilliard.

One is an existing Family Dollar at 5751 N. Main St. in Jacksonville and the others are new Family Dollars in review for construction at 3134 Canal St. in Jacksonville and at 551731 U.S. 1 in Hilliard in Nassau County.

The city is reviewing a permit application at a Family Dollar store for tenant interior and exterior renovations for a Family Dollar-Dollar Tree combo store in Main Street Station at an estimated cost of almost $400,000.

The permit refers to it as “tenant interior-exterior renovations for a Family Dollar-Dollar Tree combo store.”

The store is shown on a previous site brochure as 12,000 square feet. The permit plan shows a total lease area of 23,340 square feet.

It is in the Panama Park area north of Springfield.

A second is along Canal Street in the Grand Park area of Northwest Jacksonville. Those plans focus on a new 10,528-square-foot Family Dollar although there is a reference to a combo store. Also, the city approved sign permits for Dollar Tree Family Dollar at the site.

A third is in review by the St. Johns River Water Management District at U.S. 1 and County Road 108 in Hilliard. Plans show a 10,431-square-foot “Family Dollar Tree” store.

Dollar Tree Inc., the parent company, has not responded to calls, emails or an online customer service request. 

Jacksonville could be getting the state's first combo Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores. (Family Dollar)

The combination brand is a strategy to operate Dollar Tree side-by-side, clearly labeled by signs.

Dollar Tree said the combo stores leverage “the strengths of both banners to provide shoppers with extreme value and merchandise excitement under one roof.”

It said combo stores generate 23% higher sales.

Dollar Tree began introducing the combination concept in late 2019 in small towns.

Familydollar.com says almost 300 combo stores are open now. The new format was created for areas of populations of 3,000 to 4,000 people but have been opening in larger areas.

A map on the site shows no combo stores in Florida.

Dollar Tree bought Family Dollar in 2015.

Dollar Tree focused on selling merchandise at $1 or less but in November said it was raising most prices to $1.25.

It also expanded its $3 and $5-plus assortment in Dollar Tree Plus stores.

The Dollartree.com site shows 41 stores within 25 miles of Jacksonville.

Familydollar.com shows 49 stores in Jacksonville.

Adjusting strategy

Chesapeake, Virginia-based Dollar Tree Inc. has been adjusting its strategy, most notably in its announcement June 28 that four top leaders left or are leaving.

Dollar Tree said in a news release that the chief legal officer and corporate secretary, the COO, the chief strategy officer and the chief information officer left the company. A search is underway for their successors. The company said it is in advanced discussions with several candidates for certain positions.

 The chief financial officer will transition from the role after a successor is appointed and he will remain as an adviser through April 2023.

“As we look to the future, I believe these changes within our leadership team will bring new perspectives and experiences that will help accelerate our continued growth and deliver even greater value for our shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers,” said CEO and President Mike Witynski in the news release.

“Our Board is fully aligned with Mike that now is the right time to bring in new leadership to ensure the Company remains on a strong trajectory,” said Executive Chairman Rick Dreiling.

Family Dollar at 5751 N. Main St. in Jacksonville

Dollar Tree reaffirmed its fiscal 2022 outlook provided May 26 that second-quarter sales would range from $6.65 billion to $6.78 billion.

That included costs associated with upcoming closure of the Family Dollar West Memphis, Arkansas, distribution center that was found infested by rodents early this year, a voluntary product recall and the temporary closure of more than 400 stores in six states, not Florida, that carried items from the center.

“We are taking the necessary actions now to position ourselves for accelerated growth in what I view as the most attractive sector in retail, especially in the current economic environment,” Witynski said.

“We will be investing to improve associate and shopper experience, while enhancing operational efficiencies.” he said.

“Our management team and Board are strategically aligned and believe our Company is very well-positioned to deliver long-term, profitable growth.”

The departures come after Dollar Tree announced May 12 that it added a new chief supply chain officer and a chief merchandising officer for Family Dollar.

The interior of a combo Family Dollar and Dollar Tree store. (Family Dollar)

During the first quarter, which ended April 30, the company opened 112 new stores, expanded or relocated 33 stores, and closed 30 stores. 

It also expanded its multiprice Plus offering into an additional 790 Dollar Tree stores and completed 118 Family Dollar store renovations. 

Retail selling square footage increased 3.1% from the prior first quarter to about 129.8 million square feet. 

For the first quarter, sales increased 6.5% to $6.9 billion from $6.48 billion in the prior year’s first quarter.

The company has more than 16,000 stores

At the time of the 2015 purchase, the company described Dollar Tree as targeting customers within a broad range of Middle America with stores primarily in suburban areas. Its merchandise mix is consumable merchandise and variety/seasonal merchandise.

Family Dollar was described as targeting low- and lower-middle income households through its urban and rural locations. Its assortment primarily is consumable merchandise and home products.

The transaction allowed Dollar Tree to serve a broader customer range.

Dollar Tree reported it now has 16,162 stores in 48 states and Canada, as of April 30, the end of the first quarter.

As of August, Dollar Tree Inc. said it planned 400 new, renovated or relocated combo stores in fiscal 2022 and expected 3,000 combo stores in rural markets alone.

The combo stores average 12,300 square feet in size compared with the typical 9,500-square-foot Family Dollar.

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