Many Americans are looking to stretch the buck this holiday season by visiting dollar stores.
A growing number of consumers — including the more affluent — say they will be shopping at dollar stores during the holidays, not because they are short on cash, but because the stores carry the merchandise they want, according to a report.
Dollar stores are not just for paper towels, Clorox, toothpaste and kitchen utensils anymore.
“They are selling a broad assortment of name-brand products at higher price points,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry adviser at The NPD Group, told The Post.
Fueling some of this growth is the fact that dollar stores are attracting higher-income shoppers, with 32 percent of their customers earning more than $100,000 a year, according to a new NPD report.
“A lot of consumers discovered these stores in the last recession, and what they found surprised them,” said Anthony Chukumba, a Loop Capital analyst. “They had low prices and national brands that they trust.”
Put another way, “The stigma of shopping at a dollar store has faded,” Cohen said.
More than 40 percent of shoppers surveyed are planning to shop at dollar stores during the holidays, according to NPD.
Customer traffic at outlets including Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar increased 3 percent for the 12 months ended in October, compared with a 2 percent advance during the same period last year, NPD said.
Consumers are spending an average of $171 a year at the stores, representing a 7 percent increase from a year earlier, the firm’ s report shows.
In the most recent quarter, sales at Dollar Tree, which owns Family Dollar, rose 4.2 percent, to $5.54 billion, while Dollar General sales in the same quarter climbed 8.7 percent, to $6.4 billion.
With some 15,227 stores, Dollar General is on track to open another 975 stores next year.
Last month, Five Below, a discounter that sells novelty items aimed mostly at teens and at prices of $5 or less, moved onto Fifth Avenue — it’s first location in Manhattan.
To be sure, some holiday shoppers at dollar stores will be scooping up wrapping paper, party supplies and other basics they need for the holidays, according to Cohen.