QUOTE AND NEWS
TheStreet.com  Mar 24  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Walmart is attempting to get smaller and cheaper in order to bring down its dollar-store competitors. Last week, the big-box retailer opened a small-format convenience store in Bentonville, Ark., the home of its corporate...
SeekingAlpha  Mar 9  Comment 
By Pricechart Guy: I was previously challenged by a reader to make a recommendation as to what to buy given the current state of the stock market. After some research, I zeroed in on Family Dollar Stores (FDO) for a Buy recommendation. Investors...
DailyFinance  Mar 7  Comment 
Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE: FDO) announced today they have joined EPA’s ENERGY STAR program as an ENERGY STAR partner. Through its voluntary partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR...
StreetInsider.com  Mar 3  Comment 
Visit StreetInsider.com at http://www.streetinsider.com/Dividends/Family+Dollar+Stores%2C+Inc.+%28FDO%29+Declares+%240.31+Quarterly+Dividend%3B+1.9%25+Yield/9239287.html for the full story.
Yahoo  Feb 28  Comment 
Having conquered the world of big box discount retail Walmart has set its sights on taking over dollar stores. It’s good news for consumers but not even execution is likely to move the needle for long suffering shareholders.
SeekingAlpha  Feb 25  Comment 
ByPrescient Investment Analysis: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) is one of three competing dollar stores that offer inexpensive products to customers nationally. Per an investor presentation in January, it has 8,000 locations in 46 states. The...
Yahoo  Feb 20  Comment 
Wal-Mart's big-box formula for success is under strain because of a change in shopper habits, as consumers increasingly go online to buy clothes and electronics, while heading to dollar stores and pharmacy chains to refill on basics.
SeekingAlpha  Jan 29  Comment 
By Epic Options Trader: Family Dollar Stores (FDO) recently sent a strong signal of continued dividend growth with its latest dividend increase. The company announced a quarterly increase earlier this month from $0.26 to $0.31 per share, a 19.2%...
SeekingAlpha  Jan 23  Comment 
By Zacks Investment Research: Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) recently warned that earnings would decline in fiscal 2014 compared with the prior year as the retail environment remained challenging. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is facing...
Benzinga  Jan 21  Comment 
In a report published Tuesday, Belus Capital Drivers analyst Brian Sozzi reiterated Sell on Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO), dropping its price target from $63.00 to $60.00. According to the report, FDO's re-doubled focus on the core dollar...




 

Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO) is a discount variety retailer operating 6,655 stores in 44 states. Most of the merchandise the company sells ranges from less than a dollar to around $10 in price, with the majority under $1 per unit. The company's strategy is to target low to lower-middle income households with cheap consumables and home goods. FDO recorded net sales of $7.867 billion and net income of $358 million in fiscal 2010.[1]

Unlike other retailers, FDO profits during recessionary U.S. Economic Cycles, as consumers substitute down to cheaper items. For example, recent harsh economic conditions led to a 23% increase in net income compared to fiscal 2009.[1] As a dollar-store retailer, Family Dollar has little ability to increase prices to compensate for any changes in input costs. Additionally, Family Dollar is trying to differentiate itself by focusing on selling food products and opening stores in urban areas.

Company Overview

Business Segments[2]

Family Dollar stores carry a variety of food products, housewares, clothing, accessories, toys, school supplies, and seasonal goods. The company divides its merchandise into the following segments:

Business Growth

FY 2010 (ended August 28, 2010)

  • Net sales of $7.867 billion, a 6.3% increase from fiscal 2009.[1]
  • FDO reported net income of $358.1 million, a 23% increase compared to fiscal 2009.[1].

Trends and Forces

Low Ability to Raise Prices

Discount retailers often experience difficulty passing on cost increases to customers, particularly "dollar-store" chains such as Family Dollar who by-name are obligated to keeping prices on some products at or under $1. In addition to this obligation, the company's customers can not afford to pay much more than a few dollars as many earn household incomes at, near, or below the poverty line.[3] Consequently, input cost increases (such as inventory, overhead, marketing) are difficult to pass on to consumers. Macroeconomic and company specific changes to cost structure, including higher distribution costs related to rising energy prices, and supplier or distributor consolidation may lead to large margin decreases that cannot be offset by price increases. This is particularly relevant to oil prices which increase freight costs and other activities related to getting products from factories to Family Dollar stores.

Stiff Competition and Low Competitive Advantages in a Mature and Saturated Market

Family Dollar competes against discounters with wider selection and significant cost and scale advantages in its local markets. A Family Dollar store operating within a few miles of a nearby Wal-Mart or Target, for instance, will struggle to compete on value and selection, and may instead gain customers via convenience and location. It also faces competition from other “dollar stores,” that have similar or identical value propositions, such as Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR), Dollar General (DG), and 99 Cents Only Stores (NDN). With low barriers to entry and few natural competitive advantages to gain, the industry has become flooded with dollar stores and collectively, these companies are approaching U.S. saturation. While Family Dollar has some competitive advantage in the southern US states, there is substantial risk of lower margins due to increased overhead expenses as well as stiff competition as other discounters pursue the same strategies.

Competition

Family Dollar vs. Comparable Dollar Stores

Family Dollar is a discount retailer that competes with other stores that have similar business models. Thus, the company faces direct competition from dollar-store chains, such as Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) and 99 Cents Only Stores (NDN), that sell many of their products at or around $1.

  • 99 Cents Only Stores (NDN): operates 275 stores in the United States. The company sells all of its products for 99 cents or less. Food and grocery sales account for more than half of the company's annual revenue.[5]
  • Wal-Mart (WMT): is the world's third largest company[6] with 7,873 stores worldwide. Because of its mammoth size and buying power, Wal-Mart can buy its products at rock-bottom prices, exchanging high purchase volumes for low cost while passing the savings onto its customers.[7]
  • Target (TGT): operates 1,682 stores in 48 states. Target offers a range of general merchandise in a similar store format to Wal-Mart but targets a higher income demographic than that of Big Lots and Wal-Mart.[8]

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 FDO 2010 10-k
  2. FDO 2009 10-K "Merchandise" pg. 7
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, Poverty Measures
  4. DLTR 2009 10-K pg. 8
  5. NDN 2010 10-K pg. 3
  6. CNN Money "Fortune Global 500"
  7. WMT 2010 10-K, Exhibit 13, pg. 46-47
  8. TGT 2009 10-K, pg. 7
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