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US mom-and-pop stores take on the chains

They stress their neighbourhood roots, raise prices or tweak their inventories beyond party supplies and off-brand shampoos to include household staples

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A 99¢ & Up Millennium Discount & Party Supply shop in New York. Just as supermarket and drugstore chains have reshaped local economies and wiped out many small businesses, dollar store chains are beginning to take over neighbourhoods where mom-and-pop dollar stores have traditionally dominated.

New York

THE 99-cent store with the bright red awning cannot compete with the cutthroat pricing or huge selection at the two Dollar Tree outposts in its poor Brooklyn neighbourhood.

So it has found another way to lure customers: with the personalised service usually associated with

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