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Dollar Tree still in expansion mode


New York City Dollar Tree will expand its square footage by 6.5% in 2009, ending the year with 3,800 stores, Reuters reported. The chain is growing its footprint even as most other retailers pull back.

"For us, the world's our oyster," said COO Gary Philbin of real estate opportunities. "With other folks canceling deals or cutting back, Dollar Tree is still out there to take advantage and we can move quickly."

The company is also growing its Deal$ chain, which it acquired in 2006. Deal$ stores carry items priced above $1, such as a $10 set of sheets. But it is still fine-tuning the chain’s operations, CEO Bob Sasser said at the retailer's annual capital markets conference.

"We intend to improve and prove the Deal$ model so that we can expand the number of stores that we can open and operate profitably," Sasser said.

Dollar Tree’s business has flourished during the recession as frugal-minded shoppers seek out bargains. Dollar Tree believes that its momentum will remain even as the economy improves.

"We are getting new customers and our traffic is up and we believe, only anecdotally, that these customers are forever changed by what has occurred in America," said Sasser, according to the report.

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