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Sunday 20th of December 2009
October 7, 2009    

US consumers continue to hunt for bargains amid downturn

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by Kay Murchie
US consumers continue to hunt for bargains amid downturn

Figures show that US consumers continue to seek out bargains amid the downturn as US discount retailer, Family Dollar, posted a 13% rise in fourth quarter profits.

The store said it continues to attract budget-conscious shoppers who are looking to buy its discounted name-brand consumables. The store stocks items for under $10 and has been rearranging store space to stock more food and other essential items.

Family Dollar’s chairman and chief executive, Howard R Levine, said the company had recognised the need to adapt to serve an expanding customer base.

“Understanding the increased pressures facing consumers, we accelerated key investments to enhance the convenience and shopability of our stores,” said Mr Levine.

Family Dollar is planning to open around 200 new stores this year.

Meanwhile, Costco, the wholesale-club chain which is renowned for household supplies and petrol, posted a 6% drop in profit.

According to Costco, it had been hit by weak demand, foreign currency exchange rate movements, higher employee costs and falling petrol prices.

The two stores are among the most famous names in US retailing and despite the fall in profit at Costco, both companies exceeded analysts expectations.

Following the news, Costco stock was up 3.1% to $59.70, while Family Dollar gained 2% to $29.05.

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