‘Everything is going the wrong way’: dollar stores experience pandemic slowdown
Mr Mushkin said of Dollar Tree: “They’ve got it all the wrong way.”
Dollar General said it hired an additional 50,000 workers between mid-July and Labor Day, but admitted in August that its labor costs were increasing spending. Analysts say some of the extra spending is driven by pressure to raise wages.
Still, the higher salary may not be enough to encourage employees to stay on the job. Workers say stores are chronically understaffed and dependent on part-time workers who have unpredictable schedules and cannot afford the required employee contribution for health care benefits.
In a statement, Dollar General said, “We pay competitive salaries, which are determined based on several factors, including the relevant job market.” The company added that “our operating standards are designed to provide stores with sufficient working hours, and we don’t expect store managers to work 70 to 80 hours per week.”
Part-time workers sometimes face the opposite problem of not having enough work. As a store manager, Ms Beadling said, she was constantly trying to find overtime to give to her employees who needed the money, including a worker who lived in a tent because she couldn’t pay the rent.
But the hours allocated to the store were limited by senior officials, she said.
“Capitalism will destroy this country,” read a sign in the window of a Dollar General in Eliot, Maine this spring. “If you don’t pay people enough to live their lives, why should they work for you? “