Employment Law

Dollar Tree Layoffs: U.S. store closures, Canadian operations unaffected

Many rows of shelves, potentially at a Dollar Tree location in Canada, are loaded with products.

What’s happening at Dollar Tree?

Dollar Tree, the discount chain based in Virginia, is set to close up to 1,000 stores in the U.S. while maintaining its Canadian operations. The company revealed this week that it will shutter 600 underperforming stores in the first half of 2024 and another 400 as leases expire over the coming years.

Official Statements and Context

A company spokesperson clarified that the closures would not impact its Canadian locations: “This store portfolio review was focused on our U.S. stores and does not involve our Canadian stores,” the spokesperson stated.

The announcement followed a significant financial downturn, with Dollar Tree reporting a fourth-quarter loss of $1.7 billion, a stark contrast to a $452 million profit in the previous year. The company currently operates 227 stores in Canada and approximately 16,000 in the U.S.

Industry Reaction

  • Retail analyst Bruce Winder noted, in an interview with The Toronto Star, that the U.S. market’s high competition and economic challenges contribute to Dollar Tree’s struggles. “The U.S. is really oversaturated with stores period, and the discount store market is really crowded,” Winder explained. He highlighted that many of Dollar Tree’s core consumers are financially struggling, impacting store performance.
  • Retail consultant Lisa Hutcheson emphasized the need for Dollar Tree to reassess its pricing strategy. “The store portfolio review is one thing, but what they really need to do is look at their pricing strategy. They’ve got negative margins on some things,” Hutcheson said. She also suggested the possibility of selling some Canadian stores to competitors.

Termination agreements for Dollar Tree Canada employees

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Dollar Tree are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or economic difficulties.

This applies to individuals working in any capacity — full-time, part-time, hourly, or potentially even independent contractors — in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Severance is the compensation provided to non-unionized workers in Canada by their employer when they are terminated without cause, and can be as much as 24 months’ paydepending on a number of factors.

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains why you are still owed severance if you have been downsized on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Severance offers and deadlines

Before accepting a severance offer, double-check the amount using our firm’s free Severance Pay Calculator. It has helped millions of Canadians determine their entitlements.

In addition to your salary, make sure to factor in any other elements of your compensation (i.e. bonuses, commission, etc.).

If your employer’s offer falls short of what our Severance Pay Calculator says you are owed, it’s very likely that you have been wrongfully dismissed and should contact an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue proper severance pay. An employer’s deadline to sign back a severance offer is not legally enforceable or binding.

Severance pay for provincially regulated employees
Rights to severance during mass layoffs
Severance entitlements in a recession

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Major layoffs continue

The job cuts at Dollar Tree come amid a flurry of layoffs in 2024.

Big names, including Vancity, Stifel, WillScot of Canada, Netflix, McKinsey & Co, EXL Service, Best Buy, Relic Entertainment, Ubisoft, Intel, Amazon, Telus, Canada Goose, Dell, Unilever, IBM, and TC Energy, have pulled out the axe as they continue to navigate challenging economic conditions.

Shell to lay off 20% of deals division, part of restructuring
Walmart Canada cuts jobs amid restructuring, shift to Spark: Reports
Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Lost your job? Talk to an employment lawyer

If you have been fired or let go for any reason, contact the experienced employment law team at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP.

Our lawyers in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. have successfully represented tens of thousands of non-unionized individuals.

In addition to severance package negotiations, we can assist you on a broad range of employment matters, including:

If you are a non-unionized employee who needs help with a workplace issue, contact us or call 1-855-821-5900 to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

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