Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Some 4 years ago, 2 discount retail kings — Dollar Tree and Dollar General — were fighting over who would absorb the third dollar store giant, Family Dollar. Dollar Tree won out.

Driving the news: But today, lagging sales at Family Dollar are actually dragging Dollar Tree down, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The big picture: As we've reported, discounters have long profited from the rise of income inequality in the U.S. And with a recession likely in the near future, the dollar store business will keep ballooning, Louis Hyman, a business historian at Cornell, tells Axios.

  • Still, Family Dollar has not been able to keep up. While Dollar Tree and Dollar General are sprucing up their shops and adding fresh produce options to lure customers, Family Dollar remains shabby.
  • Since Dollar Tree acquired the chain, its stock price has surged by 20% — a formidable jump but small compared to Dollar General's 50% increase in the same time period.
  • To tackle the gap, Dollar Tree is shuttering 400 Family Dollar stores and turning another 200 into Dollar Trees after renovations.

Be smart: For Dollar Tree, which owns 15,000 stores across the country, that's a drop in the bucket. But, to add context, 400 stores is almost equal to the total of the Whole Foods chain.

Go deeper: How dollar stores thrive in distressed pockets of rural America

Go deeper

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.

Liberty University's Jerry Falwell Jr. agrees to “indefinite leave of absence”

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. in 2019. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his roles as president and chancellor of Liberty University after posting a photo of himself with unzipped pants and an arm around a woman on social media, according to the school.

The state of play: The picture, which has since been deleted, drew backlash and charges of hypocrisy from conservative political figures because the university's honor code strictly prohibits students from having "sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage," and recommends they dress with“appropriateness” and “modesty."