New York - It has been a challenging year thus far for U.S. department store chains but one segment of the retail industry has reason to celebrate: dollar stores, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Both Dollar Tree Inc., which owns the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar chains, and Dollar General Corp. reported strong earnings results in the first quarter of 2016 and among the reasons why is that these stores appeal to everyone regardless of income, according to NPD Group’s Checkout TrackingSM, which provides detailed information on consumer buying behavior based on receipts for both online and in-store purchases.

In the last year, some 19 percent of spend at the major dollar stores came from household incomes over $100,000 a year. It’s worth noting, however, that it is the decidedly less-than-well-to-do who purchase from dollar stores most frequently (twice as often as those with incomes of more than $100,000) and who have the highest spend per buyer.

“All consumers today are clearly conscious of what they buy and where,” said Andy Mantis, executive vice president of Checkout Tracking. “Considering that nearly 1 in 5 dollars spent there is contributed by the affluent, dollar stores’ value proposition clearly resonates across economic segments.”