Dollar Tree prices increase nationwide

Dollar+Tree+is+set+to+increase+prices+nationwide+by+the+first+quarter+of+2022.+However+many+stores+have+already+made+the+change%2C+including+the+Dollar+Tree+in+Belmont.

Charlotte Gordon

Dollar Tree is set to increase prices nationwide by the first quarter of 2022. However many stores have already made the change, including the Dollar Tree in Belmont.

Dollar Tree is raising its prices for the first time since opening 35 years ago.

Most items will increase from $1 to $1.25 by the end of the first quarter of 2022. However, many stores, including the Dollar Tree in Belmont, have already implemented the change. The Belmont store raised its prices on Monday, Dec. 6. Additionally, various Dollar Tree stores will be adding certain items that cost $3 and $5.

A dollar in 1986 works out to just over $2.50 in today’s money. In response, over time, Dollar Tree has adjusted its selection to maintain the dollar price point. Dollar Tree is the last major dollar store to abolish the strict $1 price point.

The price increase was “not a reaction to short-term or transitory market conditions,” according to a statement by Dollar Tree CEO Michael Witynski.

“It will enable us to mitigate historically high merchandising cost increases, including freight and distribution … and increase wages,” Witnyski said.

The Dollar Tree price hike comes at a time when many consumer prices have increased, and inflation is rising.

“Stores everywhere are raising their prices; it’s kind of a trend. This creates an opportunity right now for businesses that have historically kept the prices really low to do a modest increase without people really noticing,” said Greer Stone, an economics teacher at Carlmont. “Unfortunately, everyone is getting used to the fact that everything across the board from gas to a loaf of bread has gone up significantly over this past year.”

Many Carlmont students who shop at Dollar Tree agree that the price increase is both understandable and disappointing.

“You go to Dollar Tree to buy $1 products because that’s what they’re known for — not $1.25. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be Dollar Tree,” said freshman Anita Metzler. “If there’s a price increase, there should also be a quality increase.”

However, the price increase may not dissuade students from patronizing Dollar Tree.

“I think their [merchandise] is still a good deal, and it won’t stop me from shopping there,” Metzler said. 

Even though many associate Dollar Tree with affordable candy, party supplies, and holiday decorations, many other people rely on the store for their household items and groceries. While an increase of 25 cents may sound relatively insignificant, a 25% increase on every purchase can add up to be a pretty penny.

It’s unfortunate that Dollar Tree is raising their prices, but I think it was just a matter of time because they have to keep up with inflation and rising costs, and I think the pandemic just accelerated that.”

— Greer Stone

“Personally, it’s not a big deal since it’s only going up by 25 cents. But then again, they advertise that items are $1, and you’re likely going for the dollar prices,” said junior CJ Salas. “Those 25 cents can also be a big deal for people who are low-income.”

Locally low-income shoppers may not have more affordable options as prices increase almost everywhere.

“It’s unfortunate that Dollar Tree is raising their prices, but I think it was just a matter of time because they have to keep up with inflation and rising costs, and I think the pandemic just accelerated that. At the end of the day, they’re a private corporation, and they need to make a profit,” Stone said.