Selling eggs in Dollar Tree stores has reached an expiration date … at least temporarily.
The discount retailer announced on March 14 that due to high prices in eggs it will no longer carry them even with Easter and Passover right around the corner. Egg sales traditionally spike during the religious holidays. The price of eggs has increased 60% due to an avian flu outbreak. The average price of a dozen was $5 in January, but the price was down 6.7% in February.
Dollar Tree will look to re-stock its egg inventory later this year.
Butter also has been the victim soaring prices, and there was a 20% jump in February. However, the Dollar Tree will continue to sell the product in select locations.
The Dollar Tree made price headlines back in 2021 when it announced product would be sold at $1.25 instead of $1. Then, earlier this year, the retailer came out with its $3 to $5 product line.
Price increases are the primary factor behind the Dollar Tree’s strongest quarter on record (first quarter 2022). Traffic has been declining in Dollar Tree stores, but the increase in prices are making up for it. The premium price line is now available in about a third of the chain’s locations nationwide and will be introduced to even more stores in 2023. Last year, coolers were added for $3 and $5 products at more than 3,500 locations but are only offered in about 1,800 spots.
The Dollar Tree has discovered that the people who reach for the more expensive products spend twice as much as the average shopper.
More frozen and refrigerated items are carrying the higher price tag, including pre-made foods like pizza and ice cream.
Dollar Tree reported solid fourth quarter results in 2022. The company reported same-store sales growth of 8.7% at Dollar Tree and 5.8% at Family Dollar.
Dollar Tree is currently upgrading its network. During FY 2022, 464 stores were opened (vs. 205 that were closed) and 796 units were renovated while retail selling square footage jumped 2.5% to about 132.1 million square feet. Dollar Tree’s Plus offering was expanded to another 1,805 stores. In the fourth quarter, 123 new stores were put into action and 112 renovations were completed.
“Our sales performance shows that our third-quarter sales momentum continued into the fourth quarter,” Dollar Tree Chairman and CEO Rick Dreiling said. “We are committed to driving further store productivity as we focus on developing our people, tools and technology to fuel our accelerated growth, while simplifying our operations, improving our supply chain and innovating our merchandising strategy to better support our associates and to better serve our shoppers.”
The Dollar Tree outlook is not all rosy, though. The company is expecting gross and operating margins to decline during the first half of 2023, and Dreiling said, “our fiscal 2023 outlook assumes only minimal benefit from our investments.” However, 2024 looks strong.
Do you think other discount stores like Dollar General will follow suit regarding eggs? Do you think Dollar Tree is over reacting since egg prices were down in February? Let us know in the comments here or email SN Executive Editor Chloe Riley at [email protected].