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10/20/2021

In Building Store Fleet, Dollar Tree Takes Aim at Supply Chain Visibility

Lisa Johnston
Senior Editor
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Dollar Tree operates more than 15,800 stores across North America under the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners. Editorial credit: Ben Harding / Shutterstock.com
Dollar Tree operates more than 15,800 stores across North America under the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners. Editorial credit: Ben Harding / Shutterstock.com

Dollar Tree is investing in its demand forecasting and replenishment capabilities for both its Dollar Tree and Family Dollar banners, expected to provide increased visibility into the supply chain as it builds out its fleet of discount stores.   

Improving visibility is a key concern for today’s retailers. In RIS News’ recent Supply Chain Technology Study, 50% of respondents cited fixing lack of real-time inventory visibility as one of the three obstacles in need of focus to overcome current supply chain problems.

Dollar Tre, which operates 15,800 stores and 26 distribution centers in North America, has teamed with RELEX Solutions to implement its technology across all stores in order to boost collaboration between stores and central planning teams.      

Alasdair James, Dollar Tree executive VP, cited the partnership as the next step in the company’s roadmap to leverage data, analytics and automation to drive accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness throughout its supply chain. The decision is expected to improve better on-shelf availability and thus a stronger customer experience.

[See also: Retaining the New Consumer Through the Power of Technology]

James joined the company earlier this year. Most recently with Pier 1 Imports, he’s been tasked with leading productivity improvements through the use of data, analytics, automation and digital capabilities.

Andy Paisley, Dollar Tree CIO, noted that the technology has been more configurable than other similar solutions, in turn enabling Dollar Tree planners to increase visibility and supply chain control.

“It also empowers us to innovate, try new ideas, and evolve our use of the solution over time to continuously meet changing business needs,” Paisley added.

Dollar Tree, which acquired Family Dollar in 2015, is building out new Combo and Dollar Tree Plus store formats that feature an assortment of products priced $1, $3 and $5.

It announced last month it would begin testing items priced more than $1 in select legacy Dollar Tree stores.  Currently operating just over 100 Combo Stores — with plans to add 400 Combo Stores in fiscal 2022 — the discount retailer sees the potential to open 3,000 over the next several years.

Dollar Tree also expects to have 500 Dollar Tree Plus stores open by the end of this fiscal year, with another 1,500 stores planned for fiscal 2022. The company, which sits at No. 21 on the RIS News’ Top 100 Retailers ranking, aims to have at least 5,000 Dollar Tree Plus stores open by the end of fiscal 2024.

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