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Officials: Merger not likely to impact employees at Family Dollar, Dollar Tree stores

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MASSENA - Dollar Tree officials said Monday their planned merger with Family Dollar is unlikely to impact employees of either discount retail chain.

“We will continue to operate under the Dollar Tree and Dollar Tree Canada brands, and when this transaction is complete, we will operate under the Family Dollar brand as well,” Dollar Tree Chief Executive Officer said Bob Sasser in a release. “This acquisition, which enhances our footprint and diversified our company, will enable us to build on that progression, and importantly positions Dollar Tree for accelerated growth. By offering both fix-priced and multi-price point formats and an even broader, more compelling merchandise assortment, we will be able to provide even greater value and choice to a wider array of customers.”

Dollar Tree announced Monday it is buying rival discount chain Family Dollar for $8.5 billion, taking over about 8,000 stores.

The retail discounter will have more than 13,000 combined locations after the merger, becoming the largest player in the dollar store market by surpassing current leader Dollar General Corp., which has about 11,300 stores. Dollar Tree will continue to operate Family Dollar stores under the same brand name according to terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by early 2015.

Dollar Tree, unlike Family Dollar, sells all of its store merchandise for $1 or less. The company said its fixed pricing has helped attract more customers and increase sales, but it also has created a challenge as inflation has pushed up its costs and pressured profit margins.

Mr. Sasser called the merger with Family Dollar a “transformational opportunity” in Monday’s news release.

“This acquisition will extend our reach to lower-income customers and strengthen and diversify our store footprint,” Mr. Sasser said in the release. “We plan to leverage best practices across both organizations to deliver significant synergies, while we accelerate and augment Family Dollar’s recently introduced strategic initiatives. Combined, our growth potential is enhanced with improved opportunities to increase the productivity of the stores and to open more stores across multiple banners.”

Dollar Tree operates four stores in St. Lawrence County, including locations in Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Canton and Massena’s Harte Haven Plaza.

Family Dollar operates six stores in the county, including locations in Ogdensburg, Canton, Gouverneur, Potsdam, DeKalb and Massena’s Harte Haven Plaza. They have also been exploring property in the Winthrop area in recent months.

Shelly Davis, a spokesperson for Dollar Tree, noted Monday’s announcement is not final and must still be approved by Family Dollar’s shareholders.

“Today we announced the two companies entered into a definitive merger agreement,” Ms. Davis said. “But, obviously we have not closed on the deal yet.”

Both Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are currently Fortune 500 companies.

Dollar Tree operates 5,080 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces. Family Dollar operates “more than 8,200” stores across 46 states.

Ms. Davis said Dollar Tree does not typically disclose the number of people employed at a specific locations but said most stores employ between 15 and 20 people part-time with one or two people employed in full-time management positions.

A message left with Family Dollar’s corporate office on Monday was not returned.

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