This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Shopping at Family Dollar

Several years ago Rensselaer had two dollar stores, the Family Dollar store in College Square and Dollar General in downtown. Dollar General closed two or three years ago, and now only the former remains.
Family Dollar is a large corporation with about 6500 stores. It is big enough so its stock is part of the S&P 500 index and it is a Fortune 500 company. The Rensselaer store is now in the site that was formerly occupied by Walgreens. Before it moved there, it was where Fastinal presently is.
The dollar stores such as Family Dollar have successfully found a niche that lets them co-exist with Wal-Mart. I think part of their success is their large selection of detergents and other things that come in plastic bottles, all at very reasonable prices.

They also offer a selection of other things, such a clothing, which takes up about a quarter of their floor space.
Like Walmart, the drug stores,and the convenience stores associated with gas stations, they also offer a selection of food products.
Their selection of holiday candy does not compare to that offered by Walgreens.
Recently they have been putting out the spring merchandise, such as a large display of plastic flowers. I know a lot of these end up in cemeteries. I am not sure why else they are purchased.
Family Dollar has a very small selection of garden seed, but at 20 cents a packet, it is the cheapest I have found in Renssleaer. (It used to be 10 cents per packet, but those days are gone.) I wish they offered a bigger selection. (Update: Smith's True Value Farm Store has some seeds 8 packets for $1, and the selection is much bigger than what Family Dollar has.)
I took some of these pictures during the rains the preceded our big flood and the store had a leak in the roof. I hope it is now fixed.
Family Dollar is not a very exciting store--after all, the local store is one of 6000+. We do not buy much there, but they serve a niche and their personel has always been friendly.

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