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Dollar General leads boom in discount store expansion

 

The newest Dollar General store on Highway 50 is pictured on Wednesday. The store will replace a smaller Dollar General across the street.

The newest Dollar General store on Highway 50 is pictured on Wednesday. The store will replace a smaller Dollar General across the street.
Photo by: Matt Garner/Dispatch Staff

 

 

The following related files and links are available.

 

PDF file File: Preliminary specs for the Highway 50 Dollar General

Sarah Fowler

 

A new Dollar General is opening in Columbus. 

 

The space will open on Highway 50, replacing a smaller Dollar General across the street. It will be the 10th Dollar General in Columbus. 

 

Two more locations of the chain store are scheduled to open later this year with one in Caledonia and another located on Gatlin Road near Columbus Air Force Base. 

 

Lowndes County Tax Assessor Greg Andrews said the increased number of stores leads to an increase in revenue for the county. 

 

Combined, Dollar General stores brought in more than $50,000 in tax revenue for the city and county on the building's contents alone. That number does not include taxes on the land. 

 

"It's got to be a good thing for the local economy," Andrews said. "With these stores, you would think if you built 10 or 15 stores in one community, and they're in every community you go in where you'll see three or four, if they're paying on land, building and contents $10,000 a piece, then you're getting $130,000 in the economy right away. Plus, the landowners, especially on the Dollar Generals, they've got a lease on the land and building. Dollar General is paying them to put that Dollar General on their land. So when that lease is up, Dollar General has just about paid them for the land and the building so the actual land owners, at the end of the lease, they're going to own the building and the land too. Not only is it putting money into the economy, it's putting money into these individual people's pockets too." 

 

Clayton and Sally Richardson owned the 1.37 acres where the new store is being constructed. The Richardson's confirmed they sold the property to Mike Rozier. Rozier serves as a property scout for Dollar General. He did not return calls for comment.  

 

Mississippi State University Associate Dean of Business Dr. Kevin Rogers said multiple discount store locations is not necessarily indicative of a low economy. In fact, Rogers said building new locations means the business sees a need that has yet to be met. Around the Golden Triangle area, there are more than a dozen similar discounts stores, including five Fred's Super Dollar stores and five Family Dollar stores. 

 

"They must see there is a market in the area," Rogers said. "Those types of stores have done well in recent years." 

 

Dollar General stock is currently listed on the New York Stock Exchange and closed at $59.90 per share Friday, more than doubling since it first went public in 2009 at $22.73 a share. 

 

The stock went public as the market was coming out of recession. Rogers said dollar stores were poplar because people were looking for ways to save money. As the economy has risen out of the recession, the stores have maintained their popularity. 

 

"I think initially, in the 2008, 2009 period when the downturn really started, those types of stores did well because people were trying to save money," Rogers said. "So they developed a market." 

 

Dollar General has 379 locations in Mississippi, according to its website. The company opens 600-700 stores a year. 

 

Rogers reiterated that expanding the number of discount stores does not reflect negatively on the local economy and consumer's demand for lower prices. In fact, it may be a sign of economic growth. 

 

"I don't think there is an obvious issue with the local economy that would make me think that that type of store would be expanding," he said. "A few years ago I would have said yes because the economy is doing badly and people are trying to save money but the economy has been gradually improving, it's been gradual but it's improving so it doesn't seem to work with the traditional story. The traditional story would be the economy declining but the economy is gradually improving but they're still seeing opportunity."

 

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.

 

 

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