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      Dollar stores popular in Central New York

      Photo Credit: File

      Bargain shoppers are in luck. There are more and more dollar stores coming to the area, and a new one is scheduled to be built.

      An empty lot at the corner of Peat St. and Erie Blvd. in Syracuse will soon become a Family Dollar. Just down the road, there's already a Dollar Tree. We checked the phone book and found, in the Greater Syracuse area, there are at least 73 stores of the same type, including Dollar Trees, Dollar Generals, and others.

      For many Central New York shoppers, it seems like bargain is the buzzword.

      "Why would you pay more in a regular store when you can come here and pay a dollar?" says Patty Pipines, who says she visits the Dollar Tree about once a week.

      "They have lots of things in here that would ordinarily cost a lot of money in other stores, and we don't have that much money to spend now on things that you need," says frequent dollar store shopper Sharon Stevens.

      Dollar stores aren't just popping up in Central New York. Experts say it's actually part of a nationwide trend.

      Amanda Nicholson, an Assistant Professor of Retail Management at Syracuse University, says dollar stores have evolved over the years, offering a wider variety of products, even food. They became more popular when the economy started to struggle, and she says it looks like they're here to stay.

      "A lot of people have started to get used to going around and bargain hunting, and it's become sort of a way of shopping, a way of life," says Nicholson.

      Nicholson says while it's unlikely dollar stores will have a negative effect on big stores like Wegmans, it is possible smaller stores will be hurt.