Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
12 Months Ended
Feb. 01, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Description of Business
Dollar Tree, Inc. (the Company) is a leading operator of discount retail stores in the United States and Canada. Below are those accounting policies considered by the Company to be significant.
Principles of Consolidation
The consolidated financial statements include the financial statements of Dollar Tree, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiaries. All significant intercompany balances and transactions have been eliminated in consolidation.
Segment Information
At February 1, 2020, the Company operates more than 15,200 retail discount stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces. The Company’s operations are conducted in two reporting business segments: Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. The Company defines its segments as those operations whose results its chief operating decision maker (“CODM”) regularly reviews to analyze performance and allocate resources.
The Dollar Tree segment is the leading operator of discount variety stores offering merchandise at the fixed price of $1.00. The Dollar Tree segment includes the Company’s operations under the “Dollar Tree” and “Dollar Tree Canada” brands, 13 distribution centers in the United States and two distribution centers in Canada.
The Family Dollar segment operates a chain of general merchandise retail discount stores providing consumers with a selection of competitively-priced merchandise in convenient neighborhood stores. The Family Dollar segment consists of the Company’s operations under the “Family Dollar” brand and 11 distribution centers.
Refer to Note 12 for additional information regarding the Company’s operating segments.
Foreign Currency
The functional currencies of certain of the Company’s international subsidiaries are the local currencies of the countries in which the subsidiaries are located. Foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities are translated into U.S. dollars using the exchange rates in effect at the consolidated balance sheet date. Results of operations and cash flows are translated using the average exchange rates throughout the period. The effect of exchange rate fluctuations on translation of assets and liabilities is included as a component of shareholders’ equity in accumulated other comprehensive loss. Gains and losses from foreign currency transactions, which are included in “Other expense (income), net” have not been significant.
Fiscal Year
The Company’s fiscal year ends on the Saturday closest to January 31. Any reference herein to “2019” or “fiscal 2019,” “2018” or “fiscal 2018,” and “2017” or “fiscal 2017,” relates to as of or for the year ended February 1, 2020, February 2, 2019, and February 3, 2018, respectively. Fiscal 2017 included 53 weeks, commensurate with the retail calendar. Fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2018 each included 52 weeks. “2020” or “fiscal 2020“ ends on January 30, 2021 and will include 52 weeks.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents at February 1, 2020 and February 2, 2019 includes $287.6 million and $170.0 million, respectively, of investments primarily in money market securities which are valued at cost, which approximates fair value. The Company considers all highly-liquid debt instruments with original maturities of three months or less to be cash equivalents. The majority of payments due from financial institutions for the settlement of debit card and credit card transactions process within three business days, and therefore are classified as cash and cash equivalents.
Merchandise Inventories
Merchandise inventories at the Company’s distribution centers are stated at the lower of cost or net realizable value, determined on a weighted-average cost basis. Cost is assigned to store inventories using the retail inventory method on a weighted-average basis. Under the retail inventory method, the valuation of inventories at cost and the resulting gross margins are computed by applying a calculated cost-to-retail ratio to the retail value of inventories.
Costs directly associated with warehousing and distribution are capitalized as merchandise inventories. Total warehousing and distribution costs capitalized into inventory amounted to $169.7 million and $161.1 million at February 1, 2020 and February 2, 2019, respectively.
Property, Plant and Equipment
Property, plant and equipment are stated at cost and depreciated using the straight-line method over the estimated useful lives of the respective assets as follows:
39 to 40 years
Furniture, fixtures and equipment
3 to 15 years

Leasehold improvements are amortized over the shorter of the estimated useful lives of the respective assets or the related lease terms. Amortization is included in “Selling, general and administrative expenses” in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
Costs incurred related to software developed for internal use are capitalized and amortized, generally over three years.
Capitalized Interest
The Company capitalizes interest on borrowed funds during the construction of certain property and equipment. The Company capitalized $2.4 million, $4.2 million and $2.3 million of interest costs in the years ended February 1, 2020, February 2, 2019 and February 3, 2018, respectively.
Insurance Reserves and Restricted Cash
The Company utilizes a combination of insurance and self-insurance programs, including a wholly-owned captive insurance entity, to provide for the potential liabilities for certain risks, including workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability. Liabilities associated with the risks that are retained by the Company are not discounted and are estimated, in part, by considering claims experience, exposure and severity factors and other actuarial assumptions.
Dollar Tree Insurance, Inc., a South Carolina-based wholly-owned captive insurance subsidiary of the Company, charges the operating subsidiary companies premiums to insure the retained workers’ compensation, general liability and automobile liability exposures. Pursuant to South Carolina insurance regulations, Dollar Tree Insurance, Inc. maintains certain levels of cash and cash equivalents related to its self-insured exposures.
Related to its insurance programs, the Company also maintains certain cash balances, which are held in trust and restricted as to withdrawal or use.
Lease Accounting
The Company’s lease portfolio primarily consists of leases for its retail store locations and it also leases vehicles and trailers, as well as distribution center space and equipment. The Company determines if an arrangement is a lease at inception by evaluating whether the arrangement conveys the right to use an identified asset and whether the Company obtains substantially all of the economic benefits from and has the ability to direct the use of the asset. Leases with an initial term of 12 months or less are not recorded on the consolidated balance sheets; the Company recognizes expense for these leases on a straight-line basis over the lease term. For leases with an initial term in excess of 12 months, operating lease right-of-use assets and operating lease liabilities are recognized based on the present value of the future minimum lease payments over the committed lease term at the lease commencement date.
As most of the Company’s leases do not provide an implicit rate, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate in determining the present value of future lease payments. Inputs to the calculation of the Company’s incremental borrowing rate include the valuations and yields of its outstanding senior notes and their credit spread over comparable U.S. Treasury rates, adjusted to a collateralized basis by estimating the credit spread improvement that would result from an upgrade of one ratings
classification. Most leases include one or more options to renew and the exercise of renewal options is at the Company’s sole discretion. The Company does not include renewal options in its determination of the lease term unless the renewals are deemed to be reasonably certain at lease commencement. Operating lease expense for minimum lease payments is recognized on a straight-line basis over the lease term. The operating lease right-of-use asset is reduced by lease incentives, which has the effect of lowering the operating lease expense. Operating lease right-of-use assets are periodically reviewed for impairment losses. The Company uses the long-lived assets impairment guidance in Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Subtopic 360-10, “Property, Plant, and Equipment - Overall,” to determine whether a right-of-use asset is impaired, and if so, the amount of the impairment loss to recognize.
The Company has real estate leases that typically include payments related to non-lease components, such as common area maintenance, as well as payments for real estate taxes and insurance which are not considered components of the lease. These payments are generally variable and based on actual costs incurred by the lessor. These costs are expensed as incurred as variable lease costs and excluded for the purpose of calculating the right-of-use asset and lease liability. A smaller number of real estate leases contain fixed payments for common area maintenance, real estate taxes and insurance. These fixed payments are considered part of the lease payment and included in the right-of-use asset and lease liability. In addition, certain of the Company’s lease agreements include rental payments based on a percentage of retail sales over contractual levels and others include rental payments adjusted periodically for inflation. These payments are expensed as incurred as variable lease costs. The Company’s lease agreements do not contain any material residual value guarantees or material restrictive financial covenants.
Favorable and Unfavorable Lease Rights, Net
Favorable and unfavorable lease rights, net include purchased leases with terms which were either favorable or unfavorable as compared to prevailing market rates at the date of acquisition. Purchased leases are amortized over the remaining lease terms, including, in some cases, an assumed renewal. As discussed in this Note 1 under the captions “Lease Accounting” and “Recent Accounting Pronouncements” upon the adoption of ASC 842, “Leases (Topic 842),” these favorable and unfavorable lease rights, net were subsumed into the Operating lease right-of-use assets, where they continue to be amortized over the remaining lease terms. Amortization expense, net of $52.9 million, $65.4 million and $69.2 million was recognized in “Selling, general and administrative expenses” in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively, related to these lease rights.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets and Long-Lived Assets to be Disposed of
The Company reviews its long-lived assets and certain identifiable intangible assets for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by comparing the carrying amount of an asset to future net undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If such assets are considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of the assets exceeds the fair value of the assets based on discounted cash flows or other readily available evidence of fair value, if any. Assets to be disposed of are reported at the lower of the carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell. In fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, the Company recorded charges of $9.1 million, $13.0 million and $5.6 million, respectively, to write down certain assets, including $8.5 million in fiscal 2019 to write down Operating lease right-of-use assets. These charges are recorded as a component of “Selling, general and administrative expenses” in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
Goodwill and Nonamortizing Intangible Assets
Goodwill and nonamortizing intangible assets, including the Family Dollar trade name, are not amortized, but rather tested for impairment at least annually. In addition, goodwill and nonamortizing intangible assets will be tested on an interim basis if an event or circumstance indicates that it is more likely than not that an impairment loss has been incurred. The Company performs a qualitative assessment to determine whether it is more likely than not that each reporting unit's fair value is less than its carrying value, including goodwill. If the Company determines that it is more likely than not that the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying value, the Company then estimates the fair value. The Company uses a combination of a market multiple method and a discounted cash flow method to estimate the fair value of its reporting units and recognizes goodwill impairment for any excess of the carrying amount of a reporting unit’s goodwill over its estimated fair value.
The Company evaluates the Family Dollar trade name for impairment by comparing its fair value, based on an income approach using the relief-from-royalty method, to its carrying value. If the carrying value of the asset exceeds its estimated fair value, an impairment loss is recognized in an amount equal to that excess.
The Company's reporting units are determined in accordance with the provisions of ASC 350, “Intangibles - Goodwill and Other (Topic 350).” The Company performs its annual impairment testing of goodwill and nonamortizing intangible assets during the fourth quarter of each year. Refer to Note 3 for additional information on the results of the impairment tests.
Other Assets
Other assets consist primarily of deferred compensation plan assets and receivables which are expected to be recovered over periods longer than one year.
Revenue Recognition
The Company recognizes sales revenue, net of estimated returns and sales tax, at the time the customer tenders payment for and takes control of the merchandise.
Taxes Collected
The Company reports taxes assessed by a governmental authority that are directly imposed on revenue-producing transactions (i.e., sales tax) on a net (excluded from revenue) basis.
Cost of Sales
The Company includes the cost of merchandise, warehousing and distribution costs, and certain occupancy costs in cost of sales.
Vendor Allowances
The Company receives vendor support in the form of cash payments or allowances through a variety of reimbursements such as purchase discounts, cooperative advertising, markdowns, scandowns and volume rebates. The Company has agreements with vendors setting forth the specific conditions for each allowance or payment. The Company either recognizes the allowance as a reduction of current costs or defers the payment over the period the related merchandise is sold. If the payment is a reimbursement for costs incurred, it is offset against those related costs; otherwise, it is treated as a reduction to the cost of merchandise.
Divestiture and Impaired Receivables
In connection with the Company’s 2015 acquisition of Family Dollar, the Company divested 330 Family Dollar stores to Dollar Express, LLC. As part of the divestiture, the Company was required to partially support the divested stores through a transition services agreement, under which the Company provided merchandise and services and the buyer was required to reimburse the Company. In fiscal 2017, the Company evaluated the collectability of its divestiture-related receivable and based on information then available, the Company recorded impairment charges totaling $53.5 million. In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, the Company settled a lawsuit with Dollar Express, which resulted in Dollar Express paying the Company $35.0 million. The settlement of the litigation resulted in a partial reversal of the receivable impairment in the fourth quarter of 2017. The remaining impairment charges of $18.5 million are included in “Receivable impairment” for the year ended February 3, 2018 in the accompanying consolidated statements of operations.
Pre-Opening Costs
The Company expenses pre-opening costs for new, expanded, relocated and re-bannered stores, as incurred.
Advertising Costs
The Company expenses advertising costs as they are incurred and they are included in “Selling, general and administrative expenses” within the accompanying consolidated statements of operations. Advertising costs, net of co-op recoveries from vendors, approximated $102.9 million, $99.9 million and $106.3 million in fiscal 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Income Taxes
Income taxes are accounted for under the asset and liability method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the future tax consequences attributable to differences between financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted tax rates expected to apply to taxable income in the years in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date of such change.
The Company recognizes a financial statement benefit for a tax position if it determines that it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained upon examination.
The Company includes interest and penalties in the provision for income tax expense and income taxes payable. The Company does not provide for any penalties associated with tax contingencies unless they are considered probable of assessment.
Stock-Based Compensation
The Company recognizes expense for all share-based payments to employees and non-employee directors based on their fair values. Total stock-based compensation expense for 2019, 2018 and 2017 was $61.4 million, $63.3 million and $65.8 million, respectively.
The Company recognizes expense related to the fair value of restricted stock units (RSUs) and stock options over the requisite service period on a straight-line basis or a shorter period based on the retirement eligibility of the grantee. The fair value of RSUs is determined using the closing price of the Company’s common stock on the date of grant. The fair value of stock option grants is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option pricing model. The Company accounts for forfeitures when they occur.
Net Income (Loss) Per Share
Basic net income (loss) per share has been computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted average number of shares outstanding. Diluted net income (loss) per share reflects the potential dilution that could occur assuming the inclusion of dilutive potential shares and has been computed by dividing net income (loss) by the weighted average number of shares and dilutive potential shares outstanding. Dilutive potential shares include all outstanding stock options and unvested RSUs after applying the treasury stock method.
Diluted net income (loss) per share for the year ended February 2, 2019 has been revised to reflect the immaterial correction of an error. In fiscal 2018, the Company included dilutive potential shares in the calculation; however, because of the net loss the effect was anti-dilutive. Diluted net income (loss) per share in 2018, as corrected, was $(6.69) as opposed to the previously reported diluted net income (loss) per share of $(6.66).
Financial Instruments
The Company may utilize derivative financial instruments to reduce its exposure to market risks from changes in interest rates and diesel fuel costs. By entering into receive-variable, pay-fixed interest rate and diesel fuel swaps, the Company limits its exposure to changes in variable interest rates and diesel fuel prices. The Company is exposed to credit-related losses in the event of non-performance by the counterparty to these instruments but minimizes this risk by entering into transactions with high quality counterparties. Interest rate or diesel fuel cost differentials paid or received on the swaps are recognized as adjustments to interest in the period earned or incurred. The Company formally documents all hedging relationships, if applicable, and assesses hedge effectiveness both at inception and on an ongoing basis. The Company does not enter into derivative instruments for any purpose other than cash flow hedging and it does not hold derivative instruments for trading purposes. There were no derivative instruments outstanding in fiscal 2019 or 2018.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In February 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2016-02, “Leases (Topic 842)” and subsequent amendments, which replaced existing lease accounting guidance in GAAP and requires lessees to recognize right-of-use assets and corresponding lease liabilities on the balance sheet for all in-scope leases with a term of greater than 12 months and requires disclosure of certain quantitative and qualitative information pertaining to an entity’s leasing arrangements. The Company adopted the standard as of February 3, 2019, using the optional effective date transition method provided by accounting pronouncement, ASU No. 2018-11, “Leases (Topic 842): Targeted Improvements” and recorded a cumulative effect adjustment to beginning retained earnings. The Company’s reporting for the comparative prior periods presented in the consolidated financial statements continues to be in accordance with ASC 840, “Leases (Topic 840).” The Company elected the package of practical expedients permitted under the transition guidance within the new standard which, among other things, permitted the Company to carry forward the historical lease classification for leases that commenced before the effective date of the new standard. The Company did not elect the hindsight practical expedient, which permits the use of hindsight when determining lease term and impairment of right-of-use assets. Adoption of the standard resulted in the recognition of Operating lease right-of-use assets and Operating lease liabilities of $6.2 billion and $6.1 billion, respectively, and a reduction to Retained earnings of $65.3 million, net of tax, as of February 3, 2019. The Operating lease right-of-use assets recorded at transition include the impact of net favorable lease rights of approximately $210.0 million, accrued rent, net of prepaid rent of approximately $108.0 million, lease incentives of approximately $67.0 million and the impairment of right-of-use assets recognized in retained earnings as of February 3, 2019 of approximately $96.0 million. The adoption of the standard did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated statements of operations or consolidated statements of cash flows. Refer to Note 7 for additional information related to the Company’s accounting for leases.