By Ji Kim
Elm Staff Writer
Last week on Jan. 29, the Dollar Tree in the Kent Plaza shopping area moved several spaces down the business block to a new space that is roughly double the size of its previous site.
The move was prompted by the company’s overall plan to eventually convert all of its smaller stores into larger ones throughout the nation. Among the changes are public restrooms and more variety in merchandise.
Assistant Manager Julie Kochel said that the stores were notified by the company about the move around the end of September last year. The move to the larger retail space next to Peebles reflects the company’s plans to turn all of its smaller stores into large stores or superstores as space allows.
Kochel said that the customers have welcomed the move.
“The feedback has all been positive. People really like the extra space. The aisles are now clean and open and everything is organized and displayed neatly,” she said.
Likewise, Manager Dean Wilson said that all the feedback he has received has been “absolutely 100 percent positive.”
Allen Robertson, a resident of Chestertown, commented on the open and clean nature of the new store’s location. “It doesn’t even feel like I’m walking in the old dollar store anymore, this place looks downright fancy now compared to the old one. I like it a lot better,” he said.
While most students have yet to visit the new store, some students such as sophomore Sam Bitzelberger match the positive sentiments of the store customers.
“It’s awesome. It’s so much bigger now and there’s a lot of more stuff,” said Bitzelberger.
Likewise, senior Laura Kennedy said the store is “simply awesome.
Everything is all organized and clean now. Before, everything was just stacked against the walls and it was just crowded and messy.”
Wilson said that the only complaint he has received has been regarding the limited parking space available to customers.
“But that sounds like good news to me, it just means that business is going great. In fact, we’ve had a lot more business since we’ve moved to this site,” said Wilson.
Kochel also pointed out more of the changes, such as the increased checkout registers with conveyer belts. Kochel also said that there is not a significant difference in merchandise yet; instead, there is an increased quantity of the same products as well as more variety in sections such as toys and household products.
Additionally, seasonal items that were only offered at certain times could be stocked throughout the year. The doubled space of the store also allowed for some products to be featured in centerpiece islands at the front of the store rather than being stacked against the walls as it had been placed in its old location.
As part of its Grand Re-opening promotion, on Saturday, Feb. 4, Dollar Tree sponsored a kid’s coloring contest, candy-guessing game, and a gift basket drawing raffle to encourage people to visit the new location.