Report: #947088

Complaint Review: Dollar Store

  • Submitted: Wed, September 26, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, January 04, 2013
  • Reported By: madowner — Akron Ohio United States of America
  • Dollar Store
    4758 Sherman Road
    Kent, Ohio
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I agree with Shelly.  I started a store with Dollar store with Dollar Store Services about a year and a half ago.  My store has not made any money I have not even come close to breaking even.  I had a small amount of money saved up to open this store and I have blown thru that money and beyond.  I have maxed out my credit cards and now have some major debt tied to my name.  This company has helped to destroy my credit and my livelyhood.  I quit my job to open this store and that was a huge mistake.  I beg you if you are thinking of opening a store to reconsider!!!!  I can not tell you enough about how this company lies about the projections and the income you are expected to make.  I believe that out of the 2100 stores Dollar Store Services have opened there are not more than 100 still open and I know many of those stores are struggling.  I have yet to talk to a store owner that has taken a paycheck from their store.  If you would like to do something about it I would love to talk to you and devise an action plan.  I am heartbroken and very angry about this situation.   You can email me at(((REDACTED))) I would love to talk to you and this is a personal email address so if you cantact me thru there and then we can exchange phone numbers if necessary. 
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/26/2012 03:40 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE Employee

DRSS Facts You Should Know

AUTHOR: John Lafronz - (United States of America)


Ms. Coury has made several postings to this site in which she makes claims that simply are not true; I would like to respond point by point to each.

First and foremost, starting any business involves a certain level of risk; not every business is successful.  That being said,
our company does everything possible to position each of our store owners to be as successful as possible.  Evaluating
every location, negotiating the lease agreement to provide every possible protection to the owner, providing extensive training, negotiating the best prices possible on merchandise that we have hand selected, and providing that
information to our store owners each and every week for as long as they are in business.  Lastly we provide everything
needed to open their store; fixtures, merchandise, equipment, registers, a complete signage package and outdoor sign, and we complete the store in one week.  All of this was provided to Ms. Coury  as part of her store package.

What we cannot do, and what we do not do, is guarantee success.  Every store owner is independent, makes their own location, purchasing, operational and staffing decisions.   We will assist as requested, but the owners are free to operate their stores as they choose.

In our 17 years of developing over 2,500 stores for independent owners, you can see that the number that felt compelled to post to this site is extremely small, and in virtually every case, the subsequent postings by the owner indicate that their concerns were addressed and they were satisfied.  I believe that to be a testament to our Company's ability to deliver what we promise.

Ms. Coury's posting:

Ms. Coury states that she has not made any money in her store.  As we are not a franchise, stores do notreport operational numbers to us, so we cannot specifically address this claim.  Ms. Coury's store was assigned to a representative in our office to assist with merchandise orders, seasonal planning and other activities; while she may have indicated her sales were less
than she would like them to be, there is no indication in our records that her store "...had not made any money." She has never provide us with any operational information or asked us to evaluate her store's operation.  We offer to every owner the opportunity to perform a formal review of their store after opening.  In this review, we evaluate every aspect of the store's operation:sales, purchasing, salary , overall expense control, merchandising, promotional efforts, and more, all in the spirit of helping the owner be as successful as possible.  Ms. Coury has never asked us to perform such an evaluation, nor do our records reflect that she has ever asked for assistance in evaluating her store's operation.

Contrary to Ms. Coury's claim, we do not provide projections about income or any other expense or revenue levels.  Our company and our website does provide a worksheet and a listing of ranges of expenses by category that a prospective owner can use in creating their own estimates in the various expense and revenue categories. 
Prospective owners may do this work to evaluate a specific location.  Occasionally, a prospective owner may ask that we review their numbers and give our opinion regarding them, but because we exercise no control over the purchasing, merchandising or expense controls in any store, we certainly cannot guarantee any specific result, and so we do not.

Her claim that of the over 2,100 stores we have opened, not more than 100 are still open is a gross exaggeration.  As we are not a franchise or a public company, we do not publish information relative to store openings and closings, so there is no research that Ms. Coury could rely on to make this claim; even if it were remotely accurate.

Although Ms. Coury says she has not spoken to any owners that have "...taken a paycheck from their store.",  we have a great number of stores that are very successful; a number have multiplestore locations.  We provide existing store references to all prospective store owners as part of our development process; all are welcome to request these from us.

Again, contrary to Ms. Coury's claim, we have any number of stores that have been open for 5 years and more; please feel free to request them when you speak to one of our Store Development Specialists.

Regarding the cost of goods, Ms. Coury claims that her cost of goods is .75 or .80 after shipping.  In reviewing the opening orders for her store we find that the average cost of goods for her store was .55!  Looking at her opening orders, we utilized 16 different suppliers to give her a variety of product and the best possible overall average cost of goods. 
In reviewing her purchasing history SINCE opening, we find that she re-purchased and replaced product from only 6 of them !  Maintaining a proper merchandise assortment and cost of goods by using the suppliers best suited to provide the various
categories of merchandise can be critical to a store's success.  Her assigned representative in our office has been in regular contact with her, assisting her with merchandise orders as requested.  We can only suggest; we cannot dictate that any owner follow a proper merchandise program, although we do provide supplier information and negotiated pricing on new product on a
regular basis to our store owners via a secure website.

Ms. Coury is correct when she states that " store is 1,500 square feet..."  She fails to mention that while her store is in fact almost 1,600 square feet, she chose a location in which the selling space is only 1,036 square feet.  She is paying rent every month on a significant portion of space that does not produce any sales. Her store package fixtured and merchandised this selling space, but the additional rent every month on the large non-selling area no doubt has a negative effect on her
store's profitability.  Ms. Coury was very focused on this location; in fact she had contacted the landlord herself directly prior to our real estate department doing so.  We reflected this size differential to Ms. Coury specifically in the Purchase Agreement provided to her prior to her executing the lease; she decided to go forward.
Our agreement with Ms. Coury was to develop her store.  On its' completion, her comments on her Build Out Release (completed by the owner at the conclusion of a project) included "Very good buildout process." "Happy with the merchandise", and "I am very happy with the process so far." 
It is unfortunate that Ms. Coury's store is not doing well;  it would appear that the burden of the extra rent for unproductive space along with her buying habits (re-purchasing from a limited number of suppliers, rather than using more to provide variety and new product to excite her customers) may well be at the heart of her difficulties.

If she would like to provide them to us, we would be happy to review photos of her store, along with historical purchasing and sales information, her monthly P & L's, work schedules, hours of operation, and other related information in an effort to see if there are any recommendations we can make to her regarding her store's operation.  There may be a possibility of negotiating a reduced rent from her landlord, as well.
We will continue to maintain contact with Ms. Coury and of course provide any assistance possible.  I would encourage any reader with questions about this posting or our company in general to contact me directly.

Thank You
John LaFronz
General Manager
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#2 Author of original report

Dollar Store Services

AUTHOR: madowner - (United States of America)


I just wanted you to know that yes Dollar Store Services did put up a form letter responce.  If you look back at the claims from many years ago the form letter they put on looks a lot like the previous form letter.  They can not even come up with a new rebuttal.  I love the fact that 6 potential owners have called me and have backed away from opening a store.  I still warn people with a heavy heart.  DO NOT DO THIS!!!! You will be sorry!!!  Ask for references of stores open more than 5 years and see what they say.  It is a scam and I hope to protect you.  Call me if you would like.  I have nothing to hide at this point.  Three three zero 819 six zero three six

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#3 UPDATE Employee

We provide the tools for each owner to be successful

AUTHOR: John Lafronz - (United States of America)

Any financial data that an owner utilizes in assessing their potential business or in seeking funding is reviewed by the owner, and submitted as part of their own loan applications.

Location of the store, adequate capitalization, and the dedication and management skills and abilities of an owner are some of the variables in determining the relative success of any store.  These key variables are all the responsibility of the owner, especially the decision as to store location.  We can advise, as we did in this case, but we cannot dictate that the owner select one location as opposed to another.

Our company provides independent-minded business owners with everything they need to enter the dollar store business. The stores we build are the finest you will find, and the merchandise assortment is second to none, with many categories not even found in typical dollar stores.  
Our turnkey store packages offer assistance in providing finance options, site location, and lease negotiation.  We provide all the equipment, fixtures and inventory to completely set up a dollar store, and of course all the labor and a professional buildout supervisor to direct the work.  We offer a minimum of 8 weeks of training, including the option of classroom training in our corporate offices. A merchandise representative is assigned to every store owner and works to support operations. Every store owner has full access to our supplier network and our newsletter which provides weekly updates on new merchandise from over 85 suppliers.  Every item offered to our stores is hand selected; then the price of each is negotiated.  Most suppliers offer freight concessions to our stores as well.
We have opened over 3000 stores since 1995 and there are thousands of stores in our wholesale network at this time any references can and will be provided. 

While there cannot be a guarantee of success in any business endeavor, we believe that our program provides every store owner with the tools to be as successful as possible.  I welcome the opportunity to speak with any prospective store owner regarding our program and of course this posting. I can be reached at 1-800-829-2915 x134 and be sure to ask for references. 
John LaFronz
General Manager
Dollar Store Services
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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds


AUTHOR: livingintexas - (United States of America)

My older brother brought to my attention that I was complaining about the wrong person. After getting involved he explained that I emailing the wrong person. After correcting the mistake he now knows that the wrong person was not getting his emails. About the complaints.  They were not responding I pointed out that the person could not answer him because he was sending the wrong person the emails. He sees now that his complaints were a mistake. He can not agree or disagree about the Dollar store in questions. Make your own judgement about the dollar company.
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#5 REBUTTAL Individual responds


AUTHOR: livingintexas - (United States of America)

I have tried to contact you but no email address listed. The other complaint Shelly never responds to my emails.
I am starting to think the two of you just put bogus complaints on this site. I am just trying to get the facts.

livingintexas  12345  at yah  oo dot com
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