As Congress searches for ways to end the Federal government shutdown and deal with debt limits, Family Dollar Stores customers are hurt, said CEO Howard Levine. In a recent conference call, he said the uncertainty caused by the turmoil in Washington has an effect on the retailer’s customers’ spending confidence.
Levine said about half of Family Dollar customers are on some form of government assistance. When they see problems at the Federal level, including not only the shutdown but review of the programs they fall under, it hurts their confidence even for purchasing consumables. Levine said Family Dollar felt some effect from customer concern in its own sales during September.
Given uncertainty about job growth, developments that impact, or potentially impact, Federal assistance programs “are very real” to Family Dollar customers, he said.