Dollar Tree to Buy Family Dollar for $8.5 Billion

EDISON, NJ–Dollar Tree Inc., the nation's leading operator of discount variety stores, will acquire Family Dollar in a deal that creates a company with 13,000 stores in North America and annual sales exceeding $18 billion.

The completion of the transaction is expected as early as March 2015, according to a Dollar Tree news release.

Family Dollar shareholders voted overwhelmingly on January 22 to approve the Dollar Tree merger, rather than go with its other option, an opportunity to be acquired by Dollar General.

"Today's vote of approval by Family Dollar shareholders represents a crucial step toward combining Dollar Tree, North America's leading fixed-price point discount retailer, with Family Dollar, a leading multi-price point retailer with a 50-plus year history of serving low and middle income customers," said Bob Sasser, Dollar Tree's Chief Executive Officer. 

Dollar General wanted to buy Family Dollar, its primary competitor, for a long time.  Top executives and board members from Dollar General and Family Dollar reportedly spoke informally many times about the advantages of combining their two businesses.

In July, Dollar Tree made a surprise offer of its own for Family Dollar: cash and stock valued as high as $8.7 billion.

However, three weeks later, Dollar General offered $9.1 billion in all-cash.  That offer was ultimately rejected due to concerns over antitrust issues that would come in to play if the largest two dollar store chains merged.

Nationwide, Dollar Tree currently has 5,282 stores, Family Dollar has 8,101 stores, while Dollar General has 11, 715 stores. 

"This merger enhances our geographic footprint and diversifies our business model. We intend to operate and grow both banners," said Sasser.

Larger retailers like Walmart face increasing competition from dollar stores which have smaller facilities and lend themselves to quick shopping trips by consumers who want park close, and save time by getting  in-and-out of the shop, while saving money on essentials. 

Dollar Tree locations in the area include: Edison, North Brunswick, East Brunswick, Somerset, Middlesex, Parlin, South Brunswick and two each in South Plainfield and in Woodbridge.

Some Family Dollar stores nearby include in: Edison, North Plainfield, Dunnelen, Sayerville, and two each in Franklin and Plainfield.

It appears that, though they will have the same ownership, both chains will continue to operate under their existing brand names, and will continue to have different price points.

"At Dollar Tree stores, everything is $1 while Family Dollar stores will continue to serve low to middle income customers with name brand consumables, home basics, variety and seasonal products at discount store prices," said Sasser.

"By utilizing the $1 fixed-price point in Dollar Tree and multi-price points at Family Dollar, we will deliver even greater value and choice to a broader range of consumers."

Dave is an award-winning business reporter who has authored over 200 articles for New Brunswick Today.