NNN Tenant Focus: The Dollar General Story

November Capital  /   September 12, 2023

A brief history of Dollar General Corp

In the bustling landscape of American retail, few names resonate with thrift and affordability as strongly as the Dollar General Corporation. With over a century of history behind it, Dollar General has grown from a small general store in rural Kentucky to a nationwide retail giant with thousands of stores. This blog takes you on a journey through the fascinating history of the Dollar General Corporation, exploring its humble beginnings, rapid expansion, and enduring commitment to providing everyday essentials at unbeatable prices.

The Humble Beginnings

The story of Dollar General begins in 1939 when J.L. Turner and his son, Cal Turner, founded the company in Scottsville, Kentucky. Their concept was simple but revolutionary: provide customers with a convenient place to shop for everyday items at rock-bottom prices. The first store, named J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale, offered a carefully curated selection of products for just one dollar each, a concept that resonated deeply with the financially cautious during the Great Depression.

Rapid Expansion

Dollar General’s success was evident early on, and the Turners quickly realized the potential for expansion. In 1955, the company adopted the name Dollar General Corporation and began franchising stores. This marked the beginning of a period of rapid growth, with Dollar General stores popping up in small towns and rural areas across the United States. The stores catered to customers looking for affordable household goods, clothing, and groceries.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Dollar General continued to expand its footprint, reaching new states and markets. The company was known for its small store format, typically located in areas that larger retailers ignored. This strategy allowed Dollar General to connect with communities that needed access to essential goods at budget-friendly prices.

Facing Challenges and Innovations

While Dollar General experienced significant growth, it also faced its fair share of challenges. In the late 1980s, the company found itself in financial turmoil, leading to the resignation of the Turner family from the board. However, Dollar General rebounded under new leadership and continued to innovate.

In the 1990s, the company introduced the concept of the Dollar General Market, offering fresh produce, meat, and other perishables. This move expanded Dollar General’s appeal, transforming it into a one-stop-shop for many communities.

In the 21st century, Dollar General embraced technological advancements and implemented a robust digital strategy, allowing customers to shop online and access digital coupons. This transition helped the company adapt to changing consumer preferences.

Modern Success and Impact

Today, Dollar General stands as one of America’s largest and most successful retailers. With thousands of stores spread across 48 states, it serves millions of customers every day. Its focus on providing essential items at affordable prices has made it a lifeline for many individuals and families, particularly in underserved areas.

The Dollar General Corporation’s impact extends beyond retail. The company is actively involved in community initiatives and has donated generously to various causes, including education and disaster relief. Its commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen has earned it a place in the hearts of many Americans.

The Dollar General Corporation’s remarkable journey from a single store in Kentucky to a nationwide retail powerhouse is a testament to the enduring appeal of affordability and convenience. Throughout its history, Dollar General has remained true to its mission of offering essential products at unbeatable prices, making it a vital resource for countless communities. As it continues to adapt and innovate in the 21st century, Dollar General’s legacy of thrift and value looks set to endure for generations to come.