College Dropout Put Cheap Stores Where Oil-Stained Pavement Showed Presence of the Poor

(p. A10) Leon Levine, a college dropout, founded the Family Dollar chain in 1959, starting in North Carolina and spreading around the U.S.

He stocked cut-price clothing, food, toys and the smallest packages of toothpaste or hand cream for people without enough cash to buy jumbo sizes. The stores were in low-income neighborhoods or small towns. Mr. Levine sometimes found locations by looking for oil stains on the pavement—a sure sign of the leaky cars driven by poor people.

For the full obituary, see:

James R. Hagerty. “Family Dollar Founder Looked for Oil Stains.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, April 15, 2023): A10.

(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date April 12, 2023, and has the title “Leon Levine, Who Made Small Box Retailing Pay, Dies at 85.”)

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