Dollar stores look to food-stamp customers as revenue stream
Friday April 30, 2010


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Dollar stores look to food-stamp customers as revenue stream

Family Dollar and Dollar General are focusing on the acceptance of food stamps as a growth opportunity. Both chains have increased the volume of food items in their product mix in recent years, and over one-third of dollar-store customers earn less than $20,000 a year, which makes food stamps a logical revenue stream, says Jim Ohls, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, a food and nutrition think tank. Roughly 24 million U.S. consumers receive food stamps, to the tune of $24 billion a year. The federal program grew 10 percent in 2003, Ohls says, and currently, more than 80 percent of U.S. food-stamp benefits are used at supermarkets. Dollar stores want more of the action and are currently working to tweak checkout processes to alleviate the stigma associated with using food stamps.