Dollar General Corporation is an American multi-store chain of retail supercenters based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. As of January 2020, Dollar General will be expanding into Canada. In the last four years, Dollar General has grown in sales by approximately twenty percent per year. Dollar General Corporation was founded in 1969 and is one of the oldest home-based retailers in the U.S.
One of the company’s most impressive aspects is its employee benefits program, which pays benefits to associates who work at more than two hundred stores across the United States and Canada. A dollar added to a paycheck these days buy more than food and clothing. It buys a car, a house, and a whole lot more. And, working in a dollar store requires the same skills and work ethic that earning a six-figure salary does. According to Dollar General President and CEO Greg Lewis, associates are the company’s biggest asset.
Dollar General employs about eight hundred workers. Most of them hold at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. There is a good reason: “For the most part, (workers) get very little chance to apply their minds to (their jobs). The pace at which (stores) are run, and the economic distress, make (employees) disposable,” said Lewis.
Lewis is trying to stem the bleeding at his company by adding new stores in states like Alabama, Ohio, and Texas. In early October, the company announced that it would add four new locations in Mississippi. According to the outlet, the new stores will open later this year in New York, Maryland, and Washington D.C. Along the way, Lewis hopes to roll out new dollar brand collections in North Carolina, Ohio, California, Maryland, Texas, and Virginia. For now, though, the opening of the new stores is supposed to tide over troubled times for the company. The new stores are part of a plan by Dollar General to “reinvent” itself by focusing on expanding into new markets. (The company is also working on a multi-stores strategy.)
One thing that seems apparent about the new management team at Dollar General is their willingness to listen to suggestions from associates and change strategies if they do not meet goals. A few days ago, for instance, one associate asked why the chain would expand into Texas when it had such a strong presence in its home state. Lewis responded by explaining that the company was evaluating Texas as a market. “There are definitely retail opportunities there. It’s just a matter of evaluating the right opportunity for our company,” he said.
“This is really the new focus that they have taken with (General Electric). GE is doing really well and it looks like (the company is looking at) going down the European route with 500 stores.” Dollar General’s President and CEO Lewis revealed that this new strategy would cost some people at the company, however, he refused to provide details.
According to analysts, the focus of the coming years will be on expanding into new markets such as Texas and Kentucky. “We are analyzing closely the trends in these two areas to determine which of those might be a better platform for us to develop additional distribution centers,” he said. During the last quarter of 2020, GE had a strong quarter financially and especially in its manufacturing business. “We believe that as we progress through the next several quarters, we will continue to see growth in our business at a rate that is slightly above the average rate.”
So, can you expect to see new locations for Dollar General in Kentucky or Texas? “I can’t say that I know where they are going to be,” Lewis said. “It’s a process. We have analyzed as we prepare for the opening of these new distribution centers. It’s too early to make any definitive announcements.”