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April 17, 2018;
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$ 80k investment, national backing helps Wichitan take on dollar stores
A Wichita businessman has leased a former Quik Trip at 2838 W. Central to open a discount retail store.
Kurt Stanley, owner of Stanley Dollar Store, says he’s not afraid to go head to head with Wichita’s larger discount chains, because he can offer a variety of name-and off-brand items in a well-maintained environment. Local competitors include Dollar General, with more than 20 stores in the Wichita area, and Dollar Tree, with seven stores in the market.
“I Have a very clean, upscale store,” Stanley says. “Everything is very presentable.”
Stanley established his business with the help of Buckstore, a national developer and supplier of dollar stores located in Miami Lakes, Fla.
The company assists independent retailers with everything from finding a location to choosing merchandise to securing an SBA loan, all for no charge. Buckstore makes its money by selling merchandise to its customers, the store owners.
Michael Warshower, president of Buckstore, says his company helps develop about 300 dollar store a year.
Dollar stores have evolved as a shopping place for people of all income levels, Warshower says.
‘It doesn’t require a lot of capital to get started, whereas a restaurant or franchise can cost $200,000 to $300,000,” Warshower says.
Stanley says he has invested about $80,000 of his own money to open the store, and stocks more than 26,000 items.
Merchandise includes baby items, pet care supplies, greeting cards, batteries, food products, sunglasses, and general house and kitchen wares. He also sells balloon bouquets.
Ninety-five percent of the items Stanley sell cost $1: other merchandise can go as high as $5. Dollar General also sells items priced higher than $1, while Dollar Tree’s merchandise is priced at $ 1. Since opening in mid-July, Stanley says his store has averaged sales of $6,000 a week, not far from its sales goal of $30,000 a month.
“We’ve just had an overwhelming opening,” Stanley says.
Cindy Claycomb, associate professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at Wichita State University, says dollar and discount stores continue to open in the Wichita market.
“Some people really enjoy that treasure hunting style of shopping,” Claycomb says.
Stanley says he’d like to open two other locations, on the far east and far west sides of Wichita. But he’s not necessarily targeting low or middle income neighborhoods.
“I’ve seen research that shows that shows that people that make as much as $100,000 a year still shop dollar stores,” Stanley says.
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