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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Dollar Store Snellville GA US78

Yesterday I found that I needed some basic household items: Milk, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and Kleenex.

I thought it would be a good idea to avoid the traffic on Scenic Highway, but I still wanted a good deal on these items. I knew that CVS was far too pricy for most of the things I needed.

So I decided to visit Family Dollar. In Snellville, Family Dollar is located at 2326 Henry Clower Blvd - the shopping plaza that's near McDonald's off of US78.

In my memory, I thought Family Dollar had good prices on the things I needed.

Here's how it broke down, compared to the prices I can get at the grocery store.

Gallon of milk: In the gallon sizes, they only had one gallon of whole milk and one of 2% milk in stock. Price was $3.00 - seems high at first glance, but that's only because the grocery stores have had it at $2.99. It's only a penny higher, so no big deal.

Cascade 2 in 1 packs: They only have the mini packs of these too - only 15 washes in a pack for 3.50. The per-unit price is low, but I am used to getting 26 washes (nearly twice the amount of washes) for about $5 after I use coupons at the grocery store.

Nabisco Premium Crackers: These were the normal sized box you'd expect. Price $2, the counter tag read, which is a good deal. Problem was that the item rang up for $2.35. Not as good a deal, and I like what I buy to ring up correctly - but still a better deal than the grocery store has had, which is usually $2.79.

Kleenex were only $1, so I picked a couple of those boxes up. They are the small sized boxes though, with about 78 tissues in each. I still think that's a fair price though.

Purex Free & Clear laundry detergent: $5 for a 46-load size bottle. It was the best deal for brand I could find there. Later in the day, I was at Wal-Mart and saw a bottle of Purex nearly 3x the size for $5.

You have to be really careful in price comparisons, because the unit sizes of many of the products Family Dollar sells are downsized units. So it might look like a good size for a product, but when you compare it by ounces, you are actually paying a premium price. While I'm at it, I have noticed a lot of the major chain stores (like Kroger) have started carrying these downsized versions of products. I saw Quaker cereals like Life and Cap'n Crunch on sale for $1.88 at Kroger, but they are small boxes, smaller than the usual box you'd consider small. But, if you don't pay close attention, you might think this is a deal. It's not.

As far as service, Dollar General was fine. I didn't need any help getting anything, but the clerk who rang me up was polite. Although he had been busy stocking shelves, it wasn't hard to get rung up.

If you use coupons, they do accept them, but they will not double like they will at Kroger and Publix.

The ambiance of this store could be picked up quite a bit. It's dismal and depressing. The layout makes no sense whatsoever, so it's not a store to go to if you are in a hurry, or you would be very frustrated.

I think some improvements in color on the walls and maybe repainting fixtures and reorganization would improve the place a lot. People don't spend much when they feel depressed, and these days, it doesn't take much to put most of us in that mindset. I just felt bummed out by the place, and that doesn't make me want to hurry back.

I think the problems with the store would be an easy fix if management wanted to improve the performance of the Snellville Family Dollar store. With the nearby McDonald's cranked up to a top-notch McCafe, Family Dollar could really pull in some business if they spruced up the place and did something regularly (perhaps on Saturdays?) to pull over some of those customers.

  • Repaint the store in more fun, vibrant colors. It needs to be a party when customers walk in, because the exterior of the shopping center is drab & Family Dollar can't do much about that, but they can excite the senses when people walk IN!
  • Reorganize the store so it makes sense - each department in a block-shaped section.
  • Make sure shelves line up with the ceiling lighting so lighting isn't chopped up.
  • Have a sidewalk sale, put up helium balloons, etc to draw attention to the store on a Saturday between 1 and 3 pm.
  • Talk to the McDonald's manager and offer their employees (and employees in the shopping center) a special discount shopping event. Really get to know the other merchants, support each other. There are also a lot of medical offices nearby, across the street, the special shopping day could be offered to them, too. Do this after the remodel as a "grand opening/we appreciate you" special. Issue special coupon tickets only for those employees.
There's no reason people wouldn't find it convenient to pop into Family Dollar to pick up a few things before or after eating at McDonald's. But right now, it's a downer. It's too bad, too, because although I didn't like that my item didn't ring up right, there aren't any other real problems with the store. They have the merchandise, it just needs to be merchandised.

Review of Family Dollar Store #01520, Snellville GA