Dollar Store Entry Affects Rural Grocery Stores More Than Urban

Independent grocery stores, or grocers whose owners operate fewer than four stores, have been a large part of the rural U.S. food retail landscape.

In 2015, they represented about half of the food retailers in 44 percent of U.S. counties. Leading up to 2015, however, dollar stores were  becoming increasingly visible in rural counties, experiencing the second-largest growth behind supercenters among food retailers from 1990 to 2015, according to research by USDA, Economic Research Service (ERS).

Economists from ERS, North Dakota State University, and the University of Connecticut recently investigated the implications of the growth of dollar stores for more traditional, independent grocery stores using proprietary data from the National Establishment Time Series (NETS) database and the ERS Rural-Urban Commuting Area (RUCA) Codes.

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