Dollar General Is Opening 1,000 New Stores This Year (Plus 9 Other Amazing Facts)

Dollar General's strategic move has competitors on high alert.
Updated May 8, 2024
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Dollar General retail store exterior sign and logo

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Inflation is finally starting to ebb across the country, but it's unlikely that everyday prices will return to their pre-pandemic norms. That means Dollar General is still a great place to save on groceries and other items.

Whether you shop at Dollar General or are simply interested in learning more about the affordable retail giant, here are 10 fascinating facts about the popular store.

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More than 1,000 stores will open this year

jetcityimage/Adobe dollar general retail location

As of March, Dollar General had more than 19,000 brick-and-mortar stores across North America and Mexico.

By the end of this year, the chain plans to open an additional 1,050 stores.

Nearly 2,000 stores will undergo remodeling this year

Cavan/Adobe concrete pouring

Dollar General will remodel 2,000 stories in 2023. That’s even higher than last year’s total of 1,795.

Dollar General expanded into Mexico this year

Zerophoto/Adobe green pin on the map

2023 marked the start of Dollar General’s first international venture: Mi Súper Dollar General.

The first such store opened in the city of Escobedo in March. The company plans to open 20 more stores across the northern section of Mexico this year.

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The store’s roots go back to the Great Depression

Chandler Wild/Wirestock Creators/Adobe customers pulling into the parking lot

The concept of a dollar store might seem like a new invention, perhaps created to combat high prices at boutiques and other high-end stores. 

However, Dollar General was founded in 1939 — at the end of the Great Depression — and has been going strong ever since.

The store started as J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale, a father-and-son venture in Kentucky, and rebranded as Dollar General in 1955.

Around 25% of Dollar General’s goods still cost $1 or less  hand of man holding one dollar

In the decades since Dollar General went public in 1968, inflation has significantly increased the base price of most goods and services.

Dollar General’s prices have risen too, but around 25% of its products still cost no more than a dollar.

Pro tip: Shopping at Dollar General can save you money. Take those extra dollars and use them to crush your debt in 2023.

The retailer has donated $233 million to literacy in the U.S.

Monkey Business/Adobe working in college library

Dollar General has its own charitable foundation called the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF), which focuses on fostering literacy in local communities.

Schools, libraries, and nonprofits within a 15-mile radius of any Dollar General store can apply for a DGLF grant. The foundation has spent more than $233 million to help more than 19.3 million people read, write, and graduate from high school.

Dollar General supports Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

JenkoAtaman/Adobe curly boy reading book

“The Bargain Store” singer and Tennessee native Dolly Parton is widely known for her literacy-based charity work. Through her Imagination Library, parents can sign up their children to receive one free children’s book a month from birth until they reach age five.

Since the Tennessee-based Dollar General shares Parton’s vision for global literacy, it has contributed funds to the Imagination Library since 2005.

Dollar General and Parton also worked together in 2016 to help provide financial support to Tennessee families after that year’s devastating Great Smoky Mountains fires.

The Popshelf subsidiary is a smash hit

serhiibobyk/Adobe  girl standing in big toys shop

Dollar General owns a chain called Popshelf that opened for business in 2020. While the store sells some food items, its main focus is on fun, eclectic, and specialty goods.

Products include throw pillows, craft supplies, kids' toys, and specialized holiday goods. Best of all, over 90% of all Popshelf goods cost less than $5.

Perishable foods have been available nationwide since 2003

igishevamaria/Adobe reusable eco bag

Until 2003, Dollar General sold only nonperishable items such as paper goods and household supplies. 

But after testing perishable goods sales at 400 stores in just two states — its home state of Tennessee and Texas — it expanded fresh food sales to other parts of the country.

Now, perishable foods can be found at Dollar General and the new Mi Súper Dollar General, the latter of which aims to stock its shelves with fresh goods from local Mexican sources.

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Most stores are in communities with 20,000 residents or fewer

gguy/Adobe delivery truck for dollar general

Rural communities in the U.S. often have fewer resources than more interconnected urban and suburban communities, especially when it comes to fresh food.

Many rural areas are considered food deserts or areas where residents have limited access to healthy, perishable produce.

However, most Dollar General locations — 70% — in the U.S. are in rural communities with less than 20,000 residents. Since some Dollar General stores now sell fresh produce, residents in these communities can gain access to healthy foods.

Bottom line

Postmodern Studio/Adobe Dollar General mobile app

Dollar General is a great place to save money and reduce money stress in these inflationary times. The retailer also aims to help the community with its charitable contributions and emphasis on food access in rural communities.

If you don’t yet have a Dollar General or Popshelf in your area, perhaps all you have to do is wait: At the company’s current growth rate, it’s a safe bet one is heading your way soon.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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