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The History of Dollar Tree

In 1953, K.R. Perry opened a Ben Franklin variety store in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. It was later renamed to K&K 5&10. In 1970, alongside Macon Brock and Doug Perry, K.R. Perry opened K&K Toys in the same town, which grew into an empire of over 130 stores. At the same time, the K&K 5&10 store continued to thrive. In 1986, Macon Brock, Doug Perry, and Ray Compton embarked on an expansion of their discount stores with Only $1.00. They started with 5 locations — one in Georgia, one in Tennessee, and three in Virginia. They quickly expanded, with most of their stores located inside enclosed malls. In the early 1990s, K&K Toys was sold to KB Toys and the owners used the extra cash to expand their dollar store operations. In 1994, the discount stores were consolidated and underwent a name change to Dollar Tree Stores. The company went public on the NASDAQ exchange just one year later. In the late 1990s, Dollar Bill$, Inc. was acquired and folded into Dollar Tree Stores. The first Dollar Tree distribution center and a new store support center were both built in Chesapeake, Virginia around the same time. Soon after, Dollar Tree also acquired 98-Cent Clearance Centers and Only $One Stores, each located on opposite coasts, which furthered Dollar Tree’s country-wide reach. To support the continued expansion, a second distribution center was opened in 1999. In the early 2000s, more acquisitions allowed the company to grow even further; these included Dollar Express, Greenbacks, Inc., and 138 Deal$. With the addition of the first North Dakota store in 2004, Dollar Tree officially began operating in all 48 contiguous states. In 2008, Dollar Tree was included on the Fortune 500 list and by the end of the 2000s, even more distribution centers were opened as the discount retailer grew in popularity all across the country. The company also expanded into Canada in 2010. In 2015, Dollar Tree acquired Family Dollar. (The two chains continue to operate under their individual names today, although some locations now utilize a “combo store” format.) In 2022, Dollar Tree underwent its first price-point change in over 36 years with the rollout of the $1.25 price-point initiative. Known for highly affordable prices and a wide array of merchandise, Dollar Tree remains a popular discount retailer in the United States and Canada today.

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