Dollar Tree raises its price point to $1.25

Dollar Tree shares soar 16% after it announces more higher-priced merchandise on the way
Dollar Tree shares soar 16 after it announces more higher priced

Dollar Tree Inc. is raising prices for good, the company announced on Tuesday, moving it’s price point from a dollar to $1.25. The decision comes after a testing process that began this past summer, and was previously introduced in September as part of the company’s transformation plans.

Dollar Tree
says the customer response to the higher prices has been positive. And when Dollar Tree talked about the higher prices during its last earnings announcement in September, investors responded happily as well. “[Customers] have also indicated they are seeing price increases across the market and that Dollar Tree is still providing the products they need at an undeniable value,” Dollar Tree said in a statement. Read: Macy’s new marketplace could bolster calls to separate its e-commerce business, one analyst says The company said the higher price point is a permanent move, and not the result of “short-term or transitory market conditions.” Moreover, the higher price point allows the company to offer a wider range of merchandise, including items that had been discontinued at the $1.00 price point. Gross margins will also benefit, with the higher price point offsetting freight, operating and other costs that have gone up. “Accordingly, we have begun rolling out the $1.25 price point at all Dollar Tree stores nationwide,” said Chief Executive Michael Witynski in a statement. The higher prices will be in 2,000 Dollar Tree stores in December with the roll out complete in the first fiscal quarter of 2022. “Lifting the one-dollar constraint represents a monumental step for our organization and we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to meaningfully improve our shoppers’ experience and unlock value for our stakeholders,” Witynski said. Dollar Tree reported third-quarter net income totaled $216.8 million, or 96 cents per share, down from $330.0 million, or $1.39 per share last year and in line with the FactSet consensus. Sales totaled $6.415 billion, up from $6.177 billion in 2020. The FactSet consensus was for sales of $6.411 billion. Enterprise same-store sales rose 1.6%, with the Dollar Tree chain up 0.6% and the Family Dollar chain rising 2.7%. The FactSet consensus was for enterprise same-store sales growth of 1.5%. Also: Target says measures to manage the supply-chain bottleneck has pressured margins, but analysts say it’s worth it For the fourth quarter, Dollar Tree is guiding for sales in the range of $7.02 billion to $7.18 billion and low single-digit same-store sales increase. EPS is expected to be to be in the range of $1.69 to $1.79. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $7.025 billion, same-store sales growth of 1.3% and EPS of $1.74. The benefit of higher prices is expected to be offset by higher costs as well as store conversions, with the company expanding its Dollar Tree Plus locations, adding combo stores that house both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar merchandise, and more. Supply chain disruptions are expected to be a challenge for the near term. For the full-year, the discount retailer’s outlook is for sales in the range from $26.25 billion to $26.41 billion, a low single-digit increase in same-store sales and EPS in the range of $5.48 to $5.58. The FactSet consensus is for sales of $26.258 billion, same-store sales growth of 0.6% and EPS of $5.53. Witynski thinks the company’s gross margin will return to the range of 35% to 36% in fiscal 2022. In the third quarter, gross margin had dropped to 27.5% from 31.2% a year ago. And: Victoria’s Secret plans to spend $150 million to manage supply chain problems that could suppress sales growth “The additional price point at Dollar Tree affords us greater flexibility to manage the overall business, especially in a volatile, inflationary environment, while driving customer loyalty and store productivity,” Witynski said.  “In this environment, we believe small-box, value retail is more important than any other retail sector to millions of households.” Dollar Tree stock slipped 2.1% in Tuesday premarket trading but has gained 22.7% for the year to date. The S&P 500 index
has gained 24.7% for 2021 so far.

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