Macon Brock and Earl Swift @ Virginia Festival of the Book

  • UVa Bookstore 400 Emmet Street South Charlottesville, VA, 22903

One Buck at a Time

 

For over thirty years, Dollar Tree has succeeded at something the retail industry thought impossible: selling goods of surprising quality for no more than a dollar apiece, and in the process earning profits that defy common sense.

In One Buck at a Time, company cofounder Macon Brock leads readers through the twisty path that saw Dollar Tree mushroom from a humble five-and-dime in Norfolk, Virginia, into one of the fastest-growing businesses in America—one that today operates more than 14,000 stores, provides jobs for 165,000 people, and is climbing the Fortune 500.

During every step of its growth, Dollar Tree has had to re-prove its concept to people who can’t believe its success. Not long after entering the marketplace, the company faced a crisis of conscience. In view of inflation and pressure from suppliers, how long could it stick to its one-dollar price point? Would it have to abandon its founding principle and become just another Walmart competitor?

Brock devised an experiment—he acquired a mixed bag of items Dollar Tree could sell for one dollar, for two dollars, for three and five, dumped them on a desk, and asked company officials to separate them into price piles.

They couldn’t do it. Even Brock was surprised.

One Buck at a Time is an informal history of budget retail and a how-to on doing it right. Brock credits everyone from executives to store managers and associates for their devotion to a corporate culture of value and service. And yes, he paints an entertaining picture of how Dollar Tree fulfills its mission—how it scours the globe to maintain the all-important price point while fashioning a product mix that never fails to surprise and delight.