Leon Levine founded the Family Dollar chain of stores in 1959. Headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina, Family Dollar is a discount retailer that sells general merchandise, including home products, seasonal and electronic items, apparel and consumables. In July 2015, Dollar Tree, Inc. based in Chesapeake, Virginia, bought Family Dollar.
Bob Sasser, CEO of Dollar Tree, announced plans to increase Family Dollar revenue by lowering prices and encouraging cleaner stores and lower management turnover. He posits that Family Dollar underperformed because the company strayed from its urban and rural customer base by opening suburban locations and raising prices. Dollar Tree also expects to turn a number of struggling Family Dollar stores into Dollar Tree locations.
As part of the buyout agreement, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine remains in his position for at least two years, under the supervision of Bob Sasser. The company plans to hand control of the combined companies to Sasser at some point.
The Federal Trade Commission's concern over antitrust issues slowed the Dollar Tree's buyout of the Family Dollar chain. To resolve the FTC's concerns, Dollar Tree sold a bundle of 330 Family Dollar stores to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The firm plans to turn these locations into Dollar Express stores.