Already operating in 44 states with more than 15,200 stories, Dollar General wants to noticeably increase its footprint this year by building nearly 1,000 more outlets.
The low-priced retailer, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, has also announced plans to upgrade and remodel an equal number of existing stores.
Dollar General locations usually measure anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 square feet, and are often built in rural areas or inner cities where there are few other retail options.
The company has been particularly active in the South with more than 6,200 stores. It has less than 500 stories in the West, with nearly 100 locations in Arizona, just under 40 in Colorado, and nearly 100 in New Mexico.
The chain, just completing the opening of 900 new stores in 2018, has also renovated one-time smaller format Wal-Mart Express spaces abandoned by the giant retailer.
Walmart, in 2016, announced it was closing more than 1,000 of its Express stores, many of which have since been purchased by Dollar General.
Those spaces measure on average around 15,000 square feet.
While Dollar General is clearly upping its location game, it is also planning to sell more produce at its stores, a significant attraction for buyers. Currently the company offers produce at 425 locations. But it is hoping to increase that number to 625 by the end of this year.
In a conference call with analysts last month, Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer, noted that more than 20,000 coolers had been installed in existing stores in 2018.
“Based on the success of this initiative,” said Vasos, “we anticipate continuing our cooler expansion efforts in 2019.”
Dollar General’s energetic building agenda now means that it has more locations nationally than McDonald’s, with around 14,100 outlets, and Starbucks at 14,600.
By Garry Boulard
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