KKR portfolio company Dollar General draws up expansion plans

Dollar General draws up expansion plans

Chain to march into Mass.

 By Donna Goodison

The largest of the so-called “dollar stores” plans to expand into Massachusetts this year.

Dollar General — which has 9,800-plus stores in 38 states and claims more locations than any other U.S. retailer — will enter the Bay State and California amid a 625-store growing spree, the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company announced yesterday.

The discount retailer sells a third of its merchandise for a buck or less. It’s known for its strong selection of private-label products in addition to well-known brands of those that shoppers frequently use and replenish, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic clothing, housewares and seasonal items.

“They’re really at the low end of pricing,” said Mark Montagna, an analyst at Avondale Partners. “Their No. 1 competitor is Walmart, and they actually have equivalent pricing to Walmart. On a per-ounce or per-unit basis, their prices are the same, but they carry smaller packages than Walmart so you end up putting out less cash to buy what you need to buy.”

Dollar General will open a handful of Massachusetts stores this year starting next spring and is targeting locations in the western half of the state, according to spokeswoman Tawn Earnest. “Dollar General distinguishes itself with small stores that are designed to draw from a three- to five-mile radius,” Earnest said. “Shoppers pull right up to the door, and get in and out in an average of about 10 minutes.”

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