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Popular chain buying rival Family Dollar

Dollar Tree is buying rival Family Dollar.

Dollar Tree is paying Family Dollar stockholders a combination of cash and stock in Dollar Tree.

The deal is valued around eight and a half billion dollars.

The deal also gives Dollar Tree more than 13,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

According to CNN, Dollar Tree plans to continue to operate both the Dollar Tree and Family Dollar brands. Dollar Tree stores sell all items for $1 or less and CEO Bob Sasser told investors Monday they will continue to do so. Family Dollar stores sells many items for more than $1 and will stay with that pricing policy as well.

Many discount stores have struggled since the recession, with their core customers being among the hardest hit.

The deal is expected to close early next year.