In December of 2020 the roof of the Dollar Tree store at Sixth Avenue’s Highland Hill in Tacoma collapsed. It happened at night during a heavy rain. No one was hurt. I have been waiting for Dollar Tree to re-open there ever since. I pestered clerks at the other local Dollar Tree stores about re-opening. No one really knew anything, although one clerk flat out told me they would not be re-opening.
Two weeks ago, as I drove by the still closed store, I noticed the plywood covering the windows had been removed and a sign was added “Dollar Tree Coming Soon!” Peg and I were thrilled. We have been forced to deal with the Dollar Tree by Target on South Union (a very small and crowded store) and the stores in University Place and Lakewood Towne Center. Forced to deal means long lines, items piled outside of where they are supposed to be, and fewer products. We’re hoping that the renovated Dollar Tree at Highland Hill will be much larger and more like the one in Lakewood near Western State Hospital.The Lakewood store is a pleasure to shop it. They offer more variety and they seem to have more clerks.
Looking through the windows, the new Dollar Tree looks clean and perfect. I’m sure that won’t last. Once you add in shoppers, everything becomes more crowded and less fun. The biggest problem at Dollar Tree is the birthday balloons. If there is only one or two clerks, everything comes to a screeching halt (the screeching part is usually under my breath) when mothers are buying enough balloons to fly the kiddies to Oz and back. Each balloon has to be filled and takes time. I usually walk out when I see someone eyeing the balloons.
The Dollar Tree has just raised their prices from a dollar to a dollar and a quarter for each item. Some people do not like the Dollar Tree because they import many of their items like the apricot jam (from Egypt I believe) that I liked and mentioned to a friend a year or two ago. The complaint is that they are hurting our own economy. I disagree and the first thing I point out is that ships bring in goods to be sold at various place around the world and we buy them. But those ships don’t just deliver their products, they return to their home ports with our goods. Ships don’t sail until they have a full load. It’s called trade and we humans have been doing it for thousands of years.
Other people complain that the products at Dollar Tree are cheap and poorly made. Our kitchen sink stopper broke. We bought a new one at Dollar Tree ($1), but it only lasted about six or seven months. We bought another one from a reputable hardware store. It lasted less than a week before it started letting hot water seep out of a full sink of dishes. We bought another Dollar Tree stopper to replace that one.
With food products you need to consider what you are getting and look at alternatives and make the best choices, just like anywhere else. One of our favorite food items is Farmer John Pork Sausage Links. You get eight links in each frozen package. They cook up nicely and quickly. We fry them up occasionally for breakfast, but mostly what we buy them for is tacos. Instead of buying hamburger and frying that, the links cook more quickly and we can chose to eat one or two in each taco, letting us save calories. We also buy the corn tortillas at Dollar Tree. They last for ages and we get two dozen for $1.25.
You also need to consider that people who are not wealthy enough to go to Metro Market or other stores with similar prices. To buy milk, bread and dishwashing soap for a dollar or now a dollar and a quarter means that rent is easier to pay and feeding kids may be less expensive. Don’t mock if you’ve never had a hard time putting shoes on your kid’s feet. The working poor are among us and they need the help that the Dollar Trees and Grocery Outlets offers.
I love Dollar Tree but for some items especially food, you must be careful. A 12 ounce can of fruit will be $1.00-$1.25 at Dollar Tree while a 14-16 ounce can at a grocer is less than a dollar. You must compare apples to apples. Candy bags are another waste. They sell little bags for $1.25 and I can get 4 times the size at Walmart for maybe $1.00 more.
Dollar tree has best prices on most party supplies but again watch. A single candle is now $1.25 versus $.97 at Walmart. It’s all about watching and convenience.
Don Doman says
You are absolutely correct. Always compare prices. As you mention Walmart has some better deals, but I think they are closing down. I buy my canned pineapple there. Thanks for reading and commenting! Don
Susanne Bacon says
If the Dollar Tree at Lakewood Towne Center is in your reach but too crowded for your comfort, add a few miles and drive towards Steilacoom – because there is a giant Dollar Tree on Steilacoom Boulevard (it still belongs to Lakewood). 😉
Don Doman says
Susanne, you are right on, The Lakewood Towne Center store is crowded and usually a mess (not enough clerks). Not only is it better shopping at the larger stores, but they have even a greater selection of items. Thanks for reading and commenting. Don
Thank you for the wonderful news, I’ve missed that Dollar Tree location! Debbie
Don Doman says
Thanks for commenting. Once the new store re-opening, I’ll write a follow-up article. Thanks for commenting. Don
Jaynie Jones says
We’ve been eagerly watching, waiting and hoping for the store to reopen. We have noticed the work that’s been underway.
You described the other locations quite well.
There’s one more Dollar Tree in the area that is spacious, clean, and easy to shop in with a huge, well-lit parking lot, too. It’s in the shopping center where the Poodle Dog restaurant is, in Fife, at Pacific Highway East & 54th Avenue East. Duch Bros coffee is just across Pacific at that same intersection. Love their coffee!
Thanks for writing this story with the update on progress toward reopening the 6th Avenue location, Don! Maybe we’ll see you at the store someday as it’s the one closest to where we live, too.
Don Doman says
Jaynie, thanks for commenting. I didn’t know about the Fife location. When the new Sixth Avenue Store opens I’ll keep my eyes widened looking for you and Charles. Thanks for reading and commenting. Don
Mila Mila says
In my opinion Dollar Store raised prices by 30%!! Which is ridiculous these days. Not a single store allowed itself to raise prices by 30%!!! Yes, there were always 7% taxes when everything was just one dollar, but those seven cents you didn’t really count at the time…but now when you buy something in the store, the total cost of 1 item is $1.34 (according to my area) and it’s really more than 30% higher than the previous price! And, of course, you can find a lot of absolutely the same items much cheaper today at Walmart or other grocery stores or supermarkets, than at Dollar Tree!! So I don’t shop at the Dollar store anymore… sorry, I guess it’s not just me… a lot of my friends stop going there also! The whole idea of One Dollar Store was unique when everything there cost only one dollar!!! And today it doesn’t even relevant! And I think that over time, the dollar store will simply disappear …
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