Americans love Wal-Mart. Enough to spend most of their retail dollars there, anyway. But Wal-Mart has many detractors, including people who blame the big store for killing off the mom-and-pop stores in many downtowns.
Even Wal-Mart can't make a go of truly small towns, and that's where the dollar stores are taking hold, with nearly 2,000 expected to be built in the United States this year.
Retail business observer Garrick Brown keeps an eye on trends in the retail world.