Local Restrictions on Dollar Stores Gaining Popularity

Cities and counties all over the South are restricting further development of dollar stores.

February 13, 2020, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Dollar General / Wikimedia Commons

Adina Solomon reports from DeKalb County, Georgia, where the county has implemented, and recently extended, a moratorium on new dollar stores (e.g., Dollar Tree, Dollar General) in unincorporated parts of the county.

"DeKalb’s moratorium, which will remain in effect until the end of July at least, came about because of concern from elected officials over dollar stores not providing enough fresh food in neighborhoods with limited grocery store options," writes Solomon. "The county of more than 756,000 has about 70 dollar stores."

According to Solomon, other local governments have passed similar restrictions on dollar stores, including the city of Stonecrest in Dekalb. Atlanta has also "restricted dollar stores from locating within a mile of each other in most neighborhoods," and "Cities across the country — including Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Fort Worth, Texas, and Birmingham, Alabama — have also passed restrictions on dollar stores."

According to Solomon, researchers have not yet provided definitive answers on the effect of dollar stores on localities. One study, published by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at the end of 2018, found that dollar stores are forcing consolidation in the grocery store industry. The DeKalb County moratorium will provide researchers from Georgia State University to study the connection of dollar stores to crime, property values, and the local economy in the county.

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