from dayton daily news: Dollar stores are a growing force in discount retailing, a new study shows. The combined number of stores operated by the four top chains — Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and 99 Cents Only — has surpassed that of the three biggest national drugstore chains — Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid, according to Colliers International, a commercial real estate research firm. The top four dollar-store companies now operate 21,500 stores in the U.S., Colliers said. Ohio has the third largest number of dollar stores with 1,106 as of January. It is topped only by Florida and Texas. And dollar stores are popping up in increasingly better locations as landlords become more enamored with their ability to draw people. Ann Natunewicz, a retail research manager for Colliers, authored the report. She said dollar stores have grown by increasing their selection of food products to compete with supermarkets and big-box stores.