Burning Questions

Burning Question: Why is Dollar Tree opening next to Five Below in Sterling?

Burning Question: (Dollar Tree going in next to Five Below at the Potomac Run Plaza) makes no sense. Why would they want to move next to Five Below? — Vanessa E.

You pose a logical question, Vanessa, but there is actually a logical reason. Several actually.

For background, a week or so back, The Burn reported that the discount chain Dollar Tree is planning on opening a new store in the former Jo-Ann Fabrics space at Potomac Run Plaza in Sterling. There is a Five Below discount store in the space next door. You can see that story here.

In the comments on the report, several people expressed surprise — thinking that the two discount retailers so close together would just hurt each other in the battle for customers and their dollars. But that’s often not the way businesses see it.

Did you know many new restaurants actually seek out spaces near a Chipotle, or a Chick-fil-A, or a Starbucks. Or think about how car dealerships often seem to be grouped together.

According to commercial retail experts The Burn has spoken with, there are several reasons that similar businesses often like to locate near each other. We’ll mention a couple of them.

One — if another similar business (restaurant, discount retailer, etc.) has succeeded in a location, that likely means there is a customer base in that area. So the question of “will customers come” has already been answered.

Two — in the case of restaurants, a new fast-casual eatery knows you won’t go to Chipotle or Chick-fil-a every single day, so they figure some days you will come to them. It’s the synergy of being by other similar businesses that they want to capture.

Site of the future Dollar Tree store. (Image: Google Maps)

While we can’t read the minds of the site selection people at Dollar Tree, it’s likely that they knew full well a Five Below was next door and they want to share in that synergy — tapping into the same customer base Five Below has already developed.

They expect people will now come to both stores, and potentially make purchases at both locations. Discount shoppers frequently love hunting around for a bargain.

If you’ve got a Burning Question for The Burn about something you’ve spotted in the area related to roads, restaurants, retail or other things we cover, send it to  and we’ll see if we can get you an answer.

(Image at top: Dollar Tree)

  1. D.A. Trappert 2 years ago

    Actually, there’s a lot of difference between a Five Below and a Dollar Tree, i.e., the first has a lot more interesting stuff.

  2. D W 2 years ago

    No surprise. Both stores are co-located already in Leesburg.

    There’s a trifecta there: Dollar Store, Five Below and VA ABC. Now, if Dollar Store would sell less processed foods and more foods that have less salt, fat, corn syrup and sugars, we’d have a winning combo.

  3. Branden 2 years ago

    Actually the question in my mind isn’t the Dollar Store being next to the Five Below but the Dollar Store next to the other Dollar Store right around the corner??? Are they going to close the other one down that’s by Giant?

  4. Denise 2 years ago

    What is the status of Sonic and other potential restaurants in Leesburg on/around Miller Drive?

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