Dollarama is a Canadian dollar store retail chain headquartered in Montreal. Since 2009, it has been Canada's 2nd largest retailer of items for four dollars or less.[5] Dollarama has over 1000 stores and has a presence in every province of Canada; Ontario has the most stores.[6]

Open To All
Traded asTSX: DOL
S&P/TSX 60 component
FounderLarry Rossy
HeadquartersMontreal, Quebec, Canada
Number of locations
1,095[1] (2016)
Key people
Neil Rossy, CEO[2]
Larry Rossy
(Executive Chairman)
ProductsCleaning supplies, toys, candy, grocery, gifts, healthcare products, kitchenware, stationery, party supplies, hardware
Revenue $2.9 billion CAD (2016)[3]
$646.5 million CAD (2016)[3]
$445.6 million CAD (2016)[3]
Number of employees
Around 20,000 (2016)[4]


The first all-dollar store was founded in Montreal in 1910 by Salim Rassy, a Lebanese immigrant, whose name became Rossy[7][8]. His son George took over the retailer in 1937 and led the company until his death in 1973 when grandson Larry Rossy assumed leadership of it when it had 20 stores[9].

The discount retailer grew to 44 stores by 1992 which until then operated under the name Rossy S Inc. (not to be confused with Rossy Michael, a similar chain founded in 1949 by another son of Salim Rassy[10]). That year, Larry Rossy opened the first Dollarama at the shopping centre "Les promenades du St-Laurent" in Matane. By the late 1990s, Dollarama had become by far the primary source of revenue for the Rossy family. As such, the Rossy S chain was discontinued by the turn of the new millennium, with all of its stores either closed or converted into Dollarama locations[11]. After converting all the locations to the dollar store concept, Larry Rossy continued to open new stores reaching 1,000 stores in 2015[9].

In November 2004, 80 percent of the chain was sold for $850 million US, to a private equity fund, Bain Capital, of Boston, Massachusetts.[11]

In 2013, Dollarama was planning to expand its market to Latin America, and made an eight-year agreement to share its business expertise and provide sourcing services to Dollar City, a Salvadoran chain of dollar stores in Central America and Colombia[12]

In 2016, Dollarama established a partnership with the Marco G. R. Enterprise, resulting in the sponsorship of the first edition of the Formula Windsor Championship.[13]

In 2018, Dollarama recalled over 550,000 children's toys due to dangerous levels of phthalates.[14]

Business practices

Many items are priced at $1.00 or less, and initially almost all items were priced as such.[11] In early 2009 Dollarama began to introduce items priced up to $2.00 (including $1.25 and $1.50 price points). Due to the positive response from consumers to the multi-price point strategy, the stores subsequently introduced items at $2.50 and $3.00 in August 2012. They again increased price points to include $3.50 and $4.00 items in August 2016. This price level increase allowed the chain to acquire products from a greater variety of sources, including closeout sales.[15] Adjustments may eventually happen to all prices.[16]

Payment in Dollarama stores was once by cash only, until Interac debit cards were added as a payment option beginning in 2008. Gift cards began to be offered in 2011. As of 2015, all Dollarama stores additionally support contactless Interac Flash payments. In March 2017, Dollarama announced that credit cards would be offered as a payment option at all stores by the end of summer 2018.[17] Customers will be able to pay with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, following a successful pilot program.[18][19]

Many of the Dollarama stores are located where there once were BiWay stores, a defunct Canadian discount retail chain, which closed after a series of dubious financial transactions involving a new owner of the parent operation.[20] Dollarama officially launched its online store on January 21, 2019 where it will sell many of its products in bulk. [21] Only 1000 of the roughly 4000 products offered in Dollarama stores will be sold online, namely items that are easily purchased in bulk [22].

Most large scale modern Dollar stores sourced products from their inception from China beginning in the mid 1990s when they appeared on the retail landscape. This was the same time when Chinese companies entered the market and were allowed to manufacture for Western countries. Dollarama started branding sourced products starting in the very early 2000s. One such brand was Studio, a name they still use for stationary products, another was Plastico, a name they created for plastic kitchen containers. For a long period of time the public did not know that these were created brands by Dollarama, and most would only of known if they scrutinized the labels. What Dollarama was doing was nothing new, as private labels were created as a far back as the late 1970s in Canada by Loblaws with their No Frills products, and most grocery stores followed. It only became evident what products are sourced and branded by Dollarama, when they started having the prices directly on the label as part of the graphic design.

An extremely large percentage of Dollarama products are privately sourced. In mid-2009 it rolled out its own store brand, "D". Unlike small dollar/discount stores, it sources most of its products directly from manufacturers, rather than from local unknown distributors.

See also


  1. "Fourth Quarter MD&A" (PDF). Dollarama Financial Information. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 June 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  2. "Officers - Dollarama".
  3. "Fourth Quarter Earnings Release" (PDF). Dollarama Inc. 30 March 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  4. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-04. Retrieved 2017-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "About Dollarama". Dollarama. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  6. "Dollarama History". Dollarama. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  7. Van der Linde, Damon. "Larry Rossy hands off CEO's job at Dollarama to his son Neil as retailer hikes dividend on higher earnings". FinancialPost.
  8. Cowan, James (April 7, 2011). "Retail: The genius of Dollarama". CanadianBusiness.
  9. "Larry Rossy hands off CEO's job at Dollarama to his son Neil as retailer hikes dividend on higher earnings". Financialpost.
  11. "Dollarama undergoes major transformation". Montreal: National Post. June 1, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-06-16.
  12. "Dollarama tests Latin America market".
  13. "Dollarama tests market in Latin America with sourcing deal".
  14. Keith, Elizabeth. "Dollarama Just Recalled Over 50,000 Toys In Canada Over Dangerous Chemical Levels For The Second Time This Year". Narcity. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  15. Silcoff, Sean (18 September 2008). "Million-dollar question: Are $5 stores up next?". The Globe and Mail.
  16. "Dollarama could raise prices above $3". CBC News. 25 March 2015.
  17. "Dollarama to open more stores, start accepting credit cards". The Globe and Mail. 30 March 2017. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 2019-10-24.
  18. "Dollarama to start testing credit cards in British Columbia". Global News. 10 December 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  19. Marowits, Ross (9 December 2015). "Four-Dollarama: Budget retailer raising its top prices Canada-wide". CTV News. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  20. "Stores we miss". MSN Money. Archived from the original on 16 October 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  21. "Dollarama Officially Opens an Online Store". CTV news. January 21, 2019.
  22. Jan 22, CBC News · Posted:; January 22, 2019 10:24 AM ET | Last Updated:. "Dollarama launches online store for bulk purchases | CBC News". CBC. Retrieved 2019-01-28.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
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