Family Dollar CEO Offers An Ominous Insight About His Customers

Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine doesn’t think his cash-strapped consumers are benefiting from economic recovery.

In fact, he thinks things are getting worse.

The company reported a slip in comparable sales today, and Levine told analysts that he isn’t sure when business will improve.

“The low end consumer has not benefited in this recovery at all in fact I think (they) have slipped further back,” Levine said.

Levine cited unemployment trends, government cutbacks, healthcare uncertainty, heating prices, and rising fuel costs as factors that led to the decline.

The company announced earlier this year that it would close hundreds of stores and lower prices in order to improve business.

Wal-Mart has also seen a decline in business this year.

The company blames economic strife in the middle class for the disappointing results.

Dollar stores initially benefitted from Wal-Mart’s disappointing results. Instead of shopping at Wal-Mart, customers sought refuge at the even-cheaper dollar stores.

But Levine said that customers aren’t spending extra money, period.

“It’s a tough playing field out there,” he said.

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