Dollar stores to open more locations in 2014

Clark County follows national trend with additional businesses.


Showing that many Americans are still pinching pennies, the largest dollar store chains are planning to open more new stores nationwide in 2014 than they have in any year since the economic recession started.

Dollar General Corp., which operates 11,061 stores in 40 states, wants to open 700 more of its yellow-signed stores in the coming year, including one under construction on East Home Road in Springfield. The retailer is also seeking approvals for a store planned on South Yellow Springs Street, said company spokesman Dan MacDonald.

Plans are to also remodel or relocate another 525 stores nationally, MacDonald said.

This past year, Goodlettsville Tenn.-based Dollar General opened 650 new U.S. stores, including 58 openings in Ohio. Among them was one at 1660 Moorefield Rd. in Moorefield Twp. There are now 771 Dollar Generals statewide.

Dollar General’s growth has accelerated since the start of the so-called “Great Recession” in Dec. 2007. The first full year of the downturn in 2008, the retailer opened 450 new stores, MacDonald said.

“Our business model is solid in good times and bad and is probably more relevant to customers when times are bad,” he said.

Competitor Family Dollar Stores Inc. runs 8,000 storefronts in 46 states including 474 locations in Ohio, said spokesman Josh Braverman. Plans are to open 525 more stores and close 80 locations nationally in fiscal year 2014. The company’s fiscal year started in September.

That compares to 500 store openings for fiscal 2013. In fiscal 2012, Family Dollar opened 475 stores, including one on Selma Road in Springfield.

By comparison, 180 new Family Dollars opened between September 2008 and August 2009 in the U.S., according to Braverman.

Meanwhile, Matthews, N.C.-based Family Dollar is also undergoing a major renovation of stores — 800 were remodeled last fiscal year, and another 800 remodels are planned this year, Braverman said.

Coolers and frozen food sections are being added to renovated locations, he said.

“Over the last few years we’ve really put a lot of emphasis on improving our assortment in our food category,” he said.

Dollar General this year introduced tobacco products, a move Family Dollar made the year before.

Similarly, Dollar General is also offering more frozen and refrigerated food items including frozen vegetables, frozen meals, eggs and milk in stores as it adds cooler doors, MacDonald said.

In 2003, Dollar General introduced a new format that sells produce and meat. Dollar General Market, as the concept is called, opened a Mason location in 2007.

Dollar stores negotiate prices of stocked items with vendors. These discount stores also tend to spend less on advertising to keep prices low.

Prices at Dollar General for the same item tend to be 30 to 40 percent cheaper than a typical drugstore, and 15 to 20 percent cheaper than a standard grocery store, MacDonald said.

Most of Dollar General’s items are priced below $10, with about 25 percent of goods selling for $1 or less. Family Dollar’s average transaction is about $10, with about 30 percent of merchandise priced at $1 or less, according to the companies.

Family Dollar says its average customer is a female head-of-household in her mid-40s earning $40,000 a year.

Seventy percent of Dollar General stores are in communities with populations of less than 20,000, according to the company. Family Dollar in the past has looked to open in strip shopping centers, in urban and suburban areas. Now Family Dollar prefers to build new stores to suit, company officials said.

By the end of 2011, dollar stores in the U.S. had outnumbered drugstores, according to research by Ann Natunewicz, vice president of retail services for commercial real estate firm Colliers International, in San Francisco. Colliers has Cincinnati and Dayton offices.

“In 2007 to 2008 when we saw families getting pinched on their personal incomes, there’s always a migration to value, to anything that’s discounted,” Natunewicz said.

“Especially in small communities, people just found them to be a convenient place to shop,” she said.

Consumers continue to be tight spenders, thanks to pressures on their pocketbooks from higher payroll taxes, concerns about rising health care costs, high unemployment and underemployment, reductions in food stamp benefits and expiring long-term unemployment benefits.

As a result, shoppers are spending more on necessary items and less on things they don’t have to have. Discount retailers are expanding food merchandise in direct response to that trend, and the introduction of tobacco drives repeat business, Natunewicz said.

“Whenever you have a recession, people cut back on discretionary spending and they spend more on consumables or necessary items,” she said. “Even the dollar stores have seen some erosion in the confidence of their shoppers.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Watch the International Space Station fly across the solar eclipse
Watch the International Space Station fly across the solar eclipse

A NASA photographer managed to capture the moment that the International Space Station moved across the solar eclipse Monday in a series of rare high-speed photos. Space agency photo editor Joel Kowsky used a high-speed camera from a vantage point in Banner, Wyoming to shoot the eclipse at the exact moment the ISS flew in front of it 250 miles above...
Humorous warning to protect horses during eclipse goes viral
Humorous warning to protect horses during eclipse goes viral

An animal rescue organization in Florida had a humorous solution for protecting horses during Monday’s solar eclipse, and it has gotten plenty of support online. Heartland Rescue Ranch of Panama City shared a photo of a horse with a bra strapped around its face, covering its eyes, KDVR reported. The original Facebook post has been shared...
Missouri newlyweds say ‘I do’ during eclipse
Missouri newlyweds say ‘I do’ during eclipse

For newlyweds Samantha and Cameron Kuhn, Monday’s marriage was out of this world. The couple celebrated their wedding vows with family and friends within the path of totality of the solar eclipse that crossed the United States. “Being able to do the wedding on the day of the solar eclipse couldn’t be any more perfect,” bride...
Judge shot in ambush outside courthouse; 1 suspect killed, officials say
Judge shot in ambush outside courthouse; 1 suspect killed, officials say

UPDATE Aug. 21 at 6:08 p.m.:The shooter was identified as Nathaniel Richmond, the father of Ma’Lik Richmond, according to Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin.  Ma’Lik Richmond served around 10 months in a juvenile prison after he and another high school football player were convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party...
Greenon community grieves for 2 athletes killed in crash
Greenon community grieves for 2 athletes killed in crash

The tight-knit Greenon schools community is grieving after two high school athletes died in a crash Sunday, one of whom’s mother is a teacher in the district. Senior David Waag, 17, played soccer at Greenon High School and sophomore Connor Williams, 15, played football at Greenon while attending classes at the Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield...
More Stories