Chicago Council to vote on banning dollar stores owned by same company from opening near each other

ByRhiannon Ally ABCNews logo
Friday, February 9, 2024
Chicago Council to vote on proposal to limit dollar store expansion
As the Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Family Dollar and more expand across the country, Chicago City Council will vote on restrictions next week.

CHICAGO -- Chicago is the latest city taking steps to rein in dollar stores.

As there is an increasing presence of stores with seemingly low prices, critics claim the shopping centers can be a danger to communities.

"Their stores are filthy. They don't keep the trash up in front of the communities," Chicago Alderwoman Jeanette Taylor said.

Her proposal, which is up for a vote next week, would ban dollar stores owned by the same company from opening within 1 mile of each other.

Dozens of smaller cities and towns in the U.S. have already taken similar steps.

The small-box retailers have been under fire, accused of violating health and building codes.

Stores in Chicago have racked up more than $600,000 in fines since 2017, for everything from overcharging customers and selling tobacco to minors, to selling expired infant formula and medicine.

Safety is also a concern.

SEE ALSO: Gary shooting: Employee shot inside Family Dollar store in Northwest Indiana, police say

"My daughter was asked by her manager to bring her carry and conceal because he didn't feel safe," Taylor said.

In response, Dollar Tree said it has spent $1.5 million upgrading and repairing stores and boosting staffing levels.

It said the Chicago proposal "will limit one of the few low-cost, high-value options for essential household goods and force residents to travel further and likely pay higher prices."

But some critics argue dollar stores drive out grocery chains, leaving access only to less-healthy processed and canned foods.

In a news release Monday, Dollar General said it was offering produce at its recently remodeled location at 3527 W. Armitage Ave.

The company said it offers fresh fruits and vegetables at over 5,000 stores across the country.

ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.