If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you may have noticed that we’ve been talking a lot about Dollarama lately. While we love talking about Dollarama, each article generated many questions from our readers about how Dollarama actually works. How they choose certain products, where products are sourced from and Dollarama’s plans for the future. We caught up with a spokesperson for Dollarama and asked her the top questions we received from our readers. Take a read below and let us know if anything suprised you!
Salt and pepper shakers and other spices are labelled that they are packaged in Canada – where is the product sourced from?
This can vary widely when it comes to different spices. Our salt and pepper is primarily sourced from Vietnam or India, common countries of origin for such products, but that information would have to be confirmed on a per product basis.
Note that we source about half of our products directly from their countries of origin and the balance through North American vendors, who may source their products here or elsewhere.
How can Dollarama sell the same product found in other stores for way less (ie. brand name makeup, potato chips)?
Our ability to provide certain items at competitive prices is a reflection of the strength of our team and our business model. We have a strong buying team, long-term vendor relationships and a well-honed direct sourcing platform. Our buying power, our ability to sell smaller units at fixed price points and the way we merchandise our stores are also important factors.
How does product selection for each store work?
Our objective is to offer a consistent shopping experience from store to store so beyond the particularities/size of any given store footprint, all stores are merchandized consistently and carry the same products.
People have claimed on our website that some food items are close to expiring or almost expired – we would like to debunk this myth.
Dollarama sources all food products based on industry shelf-life standards, same as any other retailer or grocer. We also monitor expiration dates. Note that we benefit from a high turnover rate in our stores – including for food products and especially snacks like confectionary, which are a big part of our consumable/food offering.
Can you explain in clear English why Dollarama’s prices have been slowly increasing?
Over the last few years, Dollarama has added additional fixed price points so that it can expand its product offering across all categories and grow sales. Additional price points have also provided Dollarama with the flexibility to continue carrying items when costs go up.
At all price points, Dollarama’s objective is to offer the best deals on the market without compromising on quality or value. The dollar store concept is to offer products at a limited number of low fixed price points – and we fall well within this model.
Can you give us any insight into the most profitable or successful Dollarama store in Toronto?
Unfortunately, we do not provide store-specific sales. But we certainly are very popular in Toronto! Site selection and merchandising are two things we take very seriously. Being conveniently located and having a compelling product offering goes a long way to drive traffic and sales!
Does Dollarama have a return policy?
Dollarama has a no exchange/no refund policy in place. That being said, all product issues are evaluated on a case by case basis and should be communicated directly to our customer service department so they may be addressed in a timely manner. (www.dollarama.com/about_us/contact-us/)
Would you be able to give us any insight into the most popular products sold at Dollarama?
Party supplies, seasonal items (think Halloween and Christmas decorations), stationery and kitchenware products are some of the top categories for which we are a preferred destination.
Will Dollarama ever move into selling frozen food, or expand their food offerings?
As a general merchandiser, Dollarama has no plans to offer the same breadth and variety of food products available in a grocery or big-box store. We only sell non-perishable items and our food offering is considered complementary. In terms of size of offering, it has remained stable through the years, primarily consisting of canned goods, snacks, candies, chocolate bars and the like, and we have no plans to expand.
How do you determine which products to make in-store branded products (Dollarama brand) instead of just stocking brand names i.e. Why stock Meteor Chocolate bars instead of Mars. Is it based on best-selling products or margins?
We do sell Mars bars!
Offering both national name brand and our own house brand options is really all about providing our customers with value and choice at any given price point. So we do carry all the big brands, as well as house brands so the customer can choose whatever they prefer.