The Dollar Tree logo represents a reputable business which endeavors to fulfill all the needs of its customers. Also, it reflects Dollar Tree’s values of quality and its commitment to offering affordable goods.
A tree is an apt logo for a store like Dollar Tree. However, the store didn’t start out as Dollar Tree. Back then, the store was known as “Only $1.00”—a brand name that never really brings to mind the image of a tree.
During the early years of its existence, the store didn’t pay too much attention to its logo. Then, the business was relatively small and didn’t need a more focused marketing plan. Instead, it followed the lead of the late 1980s retail outlets, which simply advertised their services with a standard neon sign.
The neon sign had the name “Only $1.00” in a hideous combination of green and bright pink. It was quite a simple strategy, with three stylized arrows separating the pink “Only” part and the bright green “$1.00” being the standout feature.
The Dollar Tree Logo Evolution
Dollar Tree was established in 1986 and named “Only $1.00”, offering goods for just $1.00. The company was renamed “Dollar Tree” in 1993, so its visual identity became totally different from what everyone can now see.
1986 – 1991
The original Dollar Tree symbol was technically not a logo—it was just a standard neon sign with the name of the retailer written in bold sans serif font in a single line and rendered in a pink and green combination.
The only unique aspect of the neon sign was three little stylized arrows facing to the right, placed between the “Only” and “$1.00” parts of the logotype.
In 1991, a new concept was introduced to the retailer’s logo. It was a variation of the current logo, consisting of a green stylized tree with a black numeral “1” acting as the trunk of the tree. The stylish and smooth “Dollar Tree” logotype under the emblem was also rendered in black.
The tree top itself was geometrically drawn and used two varying green shades, which made it appear brighter and more vibrant.
The logotype was written in a sleek sans serif font, which portrayed the progressive approach and professionalism of the company, as well as its loyalty and reliability.
2006 – Present
In 2006, the redesign of the Dollar Tree logo mainly focused on the logotype.
First, the emblem was just slightly improved, retaining the original colors and the stylized tree. The logotype under the emblem was then written in green, repeating the darker green shade of the logo.
In addition, the font of the logotype was altered. The new geometrically drawn sans serif font of the italicized logotype features bold solid lines, making it look solid and confident.
The Dollar Tree Logo Design Elements
Symbol: Since the Dollar Tree brand name is a very strategic marketing move which attracts customers, they decided to make the most of it.
To achieve this, the logo designers modeled the visual identity of the company around the dollar bill concept. As a result, the designers went for an emblem made up of a dollar unit along with a round coin composed of narrow strips (seemingly from dollar bill ribs).
Color: The font chosen for the Dollar Tree logo was something resembling the Chorus Bold font but with considerable changes. It was later replaced by the Helvetica Neue Black Italic font, which first came out in 1957 and was created by Swedish graphic designer Max Miedinger jointly with Eduard Hoffmann.
Font: The color scheme of Dollar Tree’s visual identity is associated with money themes. Green (which represents the color of physical American dollar bills) can be seen everywhere. White (background) and black (numeral 1) are used, too.
The History of Dollar Tree
Dollar stores are everywhere in the US. Succeeding the 5-and-dime retail outlets of the 1800s, they’re commonplace and cheap at the same time.
Selling everything from lipstick to milk, they’re the best store to help stock up your bathroom, your fridge, and your wardrobe with daily essentials at a cheap price. Dollar Tree is among the largest and most popular dollar stores in both America and Canada.
The quality of Dollar Tree’s goods might be a little questionable sometimes, but everyone agrees it’s an amazing place to do some budget shopping spree. While we all know about its cut-price offers, you might be unaware of its history.
Here’s how Dollar Tree came to be what it is today.
K. R. Perry started a Ben Franklin retail variety outlet in Norfolk, Virginia, in 1953, which he later renamed K&K 5&10.
K.R. Perry then teamed up with Macon Brock and Doug Perry to launch K&K Toys in 1970, still in Norfolk, Virginia. This mall idea grew to more than 130 outlets on the US East Coast.
In 1986, Macon Brock, Doug Perry, and Ray Compton opened another retail chain store named “Only $1.00”, consisting of five stores—three in Virginia, one in Tennessee, and one in Georgia. The dollar stores expansion was continued along with K&K Toys shops, mainly in fenced-in malls.
Only $1.00’s management decided to focus solely on expanding its dollar stores after Melville Corporation’s KB Toys acquired K&K Toys in 1991.
Dollar Tree in the 1990s
Only $1.00 was renamed Dollar Tree in 1993 in order to address what potentially would be a multi-price-point plan in the future, with private equity firm SKM partners buying part equity interest.
Doug Perry and Dollar Tree’s co-founders got the idea of forming the company after another retailer named Everything’s a Dollar went down under in the 1990s.
In March 1995, Dollar Tree sold its shares to the public at $15 each, on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization then estimated to be $225 million.
Dollar Bills, Inc. was acquired by Dollar Tree in 1996. At the time, it was a 136-store retail chain based in Chicago. In 1997, Dollar Tree launched its new customer support center and distribution center in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Dollar Tree bought 98-Cent Clearance Stores in California in 1998. A year later, the company bought New York-based Only $One stores. The company then launched its second distribution outlet in the city of Olive Branch, Mississippi, that same year.
Dollar Tree in the 2000s
Dollar Tree bought a Philadelphia-based company, Dollar Express, and also constructed a new distribution outlet in Stockton, California. A year later, the company launched two extra distribution outlets in Briar Creek, Pennsylvania, and Savannah, Georgia.
Dollar Tree bought Salt Lake City-based company Greenbacks, Inc. in 2003 and launched a new distribution outlet in Marietta, Oklahoma. A year later, they opened its first North Dakota store, which marked its running of outlets in all 48 neighboring US states. That same year, Dollar Tree also launched new distribution outlets in Ridgefield, Washington, and Joliet, Illinois.
Dollar Tree marked its 20th anniversary of selling for just $1.00 in 2006. The same year, the company bought 138 DEAL$ stores, owned previously by SUPERVALU INC, and then launched its 3000th store.
Dollar Tree extended its distribution outlet in Briar Creek and made sales of more than $4 billion in 2007. In 2008, the company joined the Fortune 500 list of successful US companies. Towards the end of 2009, the firm opened another outlet in Washington, D. C. as well as acquired a new distribution outlet in San Bernardino, California.
Dollar Tree had its website redesigned with a brand new e-commerce platform in 2009. The platform, DollarTree.com, sells the company’s goods in bulk quantities to small businesses, individuals, and organizations.
Dollar Tree also advertises featured products, seasonal promotions, specials, and in-store events through the website, and customers can research information about the company, find a retail store nearby, and check product recalls. The company also added customer reviews and ratings as well as customer anecdotes to the website.
Dollar Tree in the 2010s
Dollar Tree launched its 4000th store in 2010 and bought 86 Dollar Giant outlets based in Vancouver, Canada. The company operates the stores in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Alberta. These are the company’s first stores outside of the US.
Dollar Tree made sales totaling $6.63 billion in 2011. That same year, the company launched 278 new retail locations and completed a 37,000 m2 (400,000 square feet) expansion of its Savannah-based distribution center.
Dollar Tree’s sales surpassed $7 billion in 2012, with a $9.13 billion end-of-the-year market capitalization. The same year, the company opened 345 new stores.
In July 2014, Dollar Tree put in a $9.2 billion bid to buy competitor retail chain Family Dollar. A few weeks later, Dollar General submitted a rival $9.7 billion bid to acquire Family Dollar. The board of directors at Family Dollar promptly rejected the General Dollar bid, saying they’d proceed with the Dollar Tree deal.
In January 2015, the company announced it was planning to cut links with 300 stores so as to appease American regulators reviewing its proposed acquisition of the Family Dollar retail chain. In June the same year, Dollar Tree agreed to a deal to sell 330 retail locations to private equity firm Sycamore Partners as one of the conditions for the approval of its $8.5 billion acquisition of Family Dollar.
In terms of revenue, the company was placed 134th on the Fortune 500 list of US corporations in 2018. As part of Dollar Tree’s repositioning strategy, the company announced plans to shut down around 390 Family Dollar retail locations, along with refurbishing 1,000 other stores.
Dollar Tree in the 2020s
In March 2021, Dollar Tree reportedly had quietly launched a combination Dollar Tree/Family Dollar store idea, with the first location being opened in early 2021. By the close of 2020, Dollar Tree had opened and run almost 50 stores, mainly in small towns boasting only a few thousand residents.
In September 2021, Dollar Tree CEO Michael Wytinski said that some prices would rise beyond $1.00, potentially up to $1.50, due to increased labor and shipping costs reducing profit margins.
In November 2021, Dollar Tree reportedly announced plans to increase its prices from $1.00 for typical merchandise to $1.25 due to pressure from shareholders to increase prices as well as inflation. Some of the goods won’t have their prices raised.
Dollar Tree announced it would implement the new price in over 2,000 retail locations by December 2021 and roll it out across most of the company’s 8,000 outlets by the 1st quarter of 2022.
Dollar Tree in Canada
In Canada, Dollar Tree stores sell merchandise for not more than C$1.50. In October 2010, Dollar Tree acquired Dollar Giant, first incorporated in Vancouver, Canada, in 2001 for $52 million. By then, Dollar Giant boasted around 85 stores in four provinces of Canada, including British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
Around 30 of Dollar Tree’s stores are found in British Columbia province, which makes Dollar Tree the second-biggest dollar retail chain there. Moreover, Dollar Tree was the fourth biggest dollar store operator in Canada by 2021.
All Dollar Giant stores have since been rebranded to Dollar Tree—they were the first stores located outside of the US run by Dollar Tree. Currently, the company runs 227 stores all over Canada, concentrated in Ontario and Western Canada.
Dollar Tree’s corporate office in Canada is in Burnaby, Great Vancouver, while its merchandising team is based in Mississauga, Ontario.
Wrapping Up the History of Dollar Tree
Formerly called Only $1.00, Dollar Tree, Inc. is a US multi-price-point discount variety chain store. It’s a Fortune 500 corporation with headquarters in Chesapeake, Virginia, and runs 15,115 retail outlets throughout the 48 adjoining states in the US and four provinces in Canada.
Dollar Tree’s stores are complemented by a countrywide logistics chain of 24 distribution locations. Also, the company runs stores named Dollar Bills and a multi-price-point bargain variety chain under the brand name Family Dollar.
Dollar Tree operates in the low-end retail and dollar store markets. Each store stocks a range of goods, including private-label, regional, and national brands.
Dollar Tree’s departments include food and snacks, health and beauty, party, housewares, seasonal decor, glassware, dinnerware, candy, toys, household cleaning supplies, gift wraps, and bags, gifts, craft supplies, stationery, electronics, teaching supplies, books, pet supplies, and automotive supplies.
In August 2012, Dollar Tree started accepting suppliers’ coupons at all its retail locations.