Special Report

10 Most Popular Stores in America

Thomas C. Frohlich, Michael B. Sauter

10. Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR)
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 18.90%
> Number of U.S. stores: 5,157
> Store category: Shopping

Nearly 19% of American consumers visited a Dollar Tree in March, making the discount retailer the 10th most visited store in the country. As opposed to many other discount variety stores, Dollar Tree boasts a price tag of literally one dollar for a substantial portion of its merchandise. While Dollar Tree is not a restaurant, about half of its merchandise is consumable, which may help increase the volume of the store’s customers. Since food is generally purchased more frequently than other goods, stores selling consumable products like food usually have more visitors, independent of their popularity. There are 5,157 Dollar Tree stores in the country. Since its acquisition of Family Dollar in January, however, the company’s total store count has increased dramatically. Dollar Tree now controls more than 8,100 Family Dollar stores.

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9. Taco Bell
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 19.52%
> Number of U.S. stores: N/A
> Store category: Food & beverage

Taco Bell is one of five restaurant chains among the most popular stores in America. As David Shim explained, food is consumed much more regularly than many other products, which partly accounts for the popularity of restaurants over stores operating in other industries. Taco Bell is one of three major subsidiaries, including KFC and Pizza Hut, controlled by Yum! Brands (NYSE: . There were about 6,200 Taco Bell restaurants worldwide in 2014, and the Mexican-inspired food chain reported total revenues of $1.9 billion, and operating profits of $480 million. According to Shim, Taco Bell’s popularity improved slightly from last year. Shim attributed Taco Bell’s improvement to aggressive advertising in the past year.

8. Burger King
> Pct. of Americans visiting in March: 19.90%
> Number of U.S. stores: N/A
> Store category: Food & beverage

Burger King is a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian holding company that also controls Tim Hortons. The merger of the two restaurant chains in 2014 was intended to reduce future U.S. tax payments. As part of the holding company, Burger King is now headquartered in Canada. There are approximately 13,960 Burger King restaurants worldwide, one of the highest store counts of any company in the world. With so many locations, it is perhaps not surprising that 19.9% of all American consumers visited a Burger King in March, making it the eighth most popular store in the country.