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Dollar General Reaches Impressive Retail Milestone

Discount retailer opens its 18,000th store, in Alabama
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Dollar General Reaches Impressive Retail Milestone
Dollar General celebrated its 18,000th store grand opening by donating $18,000 to Gulf Shores Elementary School.

Dollar General Corp. has reached a milestone that not many retailers can claim. The discount retailer has recently opened its 18,000th store in Gulf Shores, Ala. To celebrate the opening, customers were provided with complimentary gift cards and tote bags filled with vendor products. The company also marked the momentous occasion by donating $18,000 to Gulf Shores Elementary School, which aims to support ongoing literacy and education programs within the school district.

“With each new DG store opening, we are extending our scale for good to help American households stretch their budgets on essentials, create new career paths for employees, contribute tax revenue to local municipalities and extend education opportunities through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO. “From our first store in Kentucky in 1955 to today’s 18,000th store, our customers and our mission have remained at the heart of all we do, and we are proud to extend the positive benefits we bring to better serve Gulf Shores’ residents and tourists alike with our 18,000th store.”

Dollar General was originally founded as a wholesale venture in 1939 by J.L. Turner and Cal Turner, Sr. The father and son duo opened the first Dollar General store in 1955 in Springfield, Ky. Today, the company is known as America's largest food retailer by store count. In addition to its 18,000 company-owned retail locations, Dollar General also boosts more than 27 distribution centers. The fast-growing food retailer was named as Progressive Grocer’s 2021 Retailer of the Year.

The 18,000th store in Alabama spotlights Dollar General's longstanding history in the southeastern state. The company opened its first store in Alabama in 1965. Dollar General’s strong presence in the state currently includes the employment of approximately 8,100 employees at roughly 850 stores and at distribution centers in Bessemer and Montgomery.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has also awarded more than $3.7 million to support adult, youth, summer and family literacy programs in Alabama, which have helped improve the lives of more than 363,000 residents since 2010.

“On behalf of my administrative team, the teachers, and students at Gulf Shores Elementary, we could not be more appreciative of the generous donation from Dollar General,” said Dr. Alicia Early, Gulf Shores Elementary School’s Principal. “The $18,000 donation will be utilized to strengthen and expand our academics. We are so fortunate to work in an area where the community believes in supporting and giving back to the schools. We believe our future is in our school buildings, and if our schools are progressing and achieving, so will the community.”

Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General employs approximately 159,000 associates in 47 states. The company is No. 15 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Dollar General recently launched DoorDash delivery at more than 9,000 locations nationwide, with plans to expand to more than 10,000 stores by December.

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