Dollar Tree saw same-store sales increase by 0.5% for the first quarter of the year, but the lift was not as high as expected. Meanwhile, the company's Family Dollar banner did not see any same-store increase in the quarter.
Dollar Tree's top performing categories in the quarter included snacks and beverage, candy, toys, seasonal products and healthcare products. As has been the case with other retailers, the company saw the strongest same-store sales of the quarter in April. The company’s Family Dollar banner, however, saw same-store sales decrease by 1.2%. Dollar Tree pointed to several factors that fueled the dip, including material delays, late tax refunds, Easter falling later in the year and the cycling of staff benefit reductions form 2016. As a result, comps by month ranged from mid-single-digit negative for February to mid-single-digit positive for April.
The company said it continues to make meaningful progress at Family Dollar around key elements that will drive performance — including the development of its private brand program.
The company is in the process of moving away from its Family Wellness, Family Gourmet and Family Chef private label brands and intends to refresh its assortment. Homeline will replace Family Dollar brand in household products. And in the next few months, the store will be rolling out rebranded private labels in many of its consumables categories. The company said that these private brands are being developed to add value as well as to provide national brand comparable quality to support the compare and save component of its Smart Ways to Save program. The company added it was confident that these measures will help lift Family Dollar's same-store sales in the coming quarters.