A dollar here, a dollar there, a dollar store everywhere …
As Dollar General builds its third store in Orange City, the town’s leaders are wondering if they are getting too many of the small shops boasting convenience and wide arrays of merchandise at low prices.
“I’ve gotten calls,” Council Member Bill O’Connor told his colleagues, suggesting Orange City should consider “a moratorium on dollar stores.”
The Dollar General under construction at 1550 S. Volusia Ave. is a little more than a mile south of the stand-alone Dollar General at 676 N. Volusia Ave. and about 1.5 miles north of the one at 828 Saxon Blvd. There is also a Dollar Tree at 843 Harley Strickland Blvd., in a shopping center with apartment complexes nearby.
Other City Council members said they would like more information about whether a moratorium on new applications for such businesses is needed.
City Manager Dale Arrington said she and her staff will gather information and prepare a report for the council in the coming weeks.
“It will probably be at the last meeting in October or the first meeting in November,” she added.
Asked if any additional dollar stores are poised to open in Orange City, Planning Manager Danalee Petyk said there are no other applications now pending.
Noting the growing number of small-box discounters in their city, Deltona officials last year discussed imposing a moratorium on new dollar stores.
In recent weeks, Family Dollar opened a store in the Deltona Plaza, an aging and established shopping center that has lured several new businesses in recent years.
Orange City Council Member Bill Crippen said the stores fill a void in some of the less-urbanized areas of the county, such as Pierson.
“These dollar stores — Dollar General and Family Dollar — people are buying their groceries,” he noted. “They are the lifeline.”
Indeed, the dollar stores have not only survived, but thrived, in an age of e-commerce juggernauts, led by Amazon.
“Amazon … is often blamed for causing ‘retail apocalypse’ that has caused tens of thousands of store closures over the past decade,” The Motley Fool, a news source for investors, reported Oct. 19, 2019.
“Yet, discounters like Dollar Tree and Dollar General withstood Amazon’s assault, flourished and continued opening stores closer to lower income areas, offering lower prices than Amazon and promoting a ‘treasure hunt’ experience by constantly rotating their products,” the article noted.