Dollar General Rapidly Expands Across Rural America

By Hannah Claire Brimelow

Dollar General is one of the nation’s fastest growing and most profitable retailers.

The company has reported 31 years of growth consecutively and reported $33.75 Billion in sales during 2020.

Many Americans will recognize Dollar General’s signature bright yellow, rectangular sign. The stores – over 17,000 of them in the US – are frequently found along 2-lane country highways with very little else close to them. These locations are part of the company’s strategy for success. 

“The company is bucking current retail trends and by expanding rapidly and opening stores away from population centers,” notes The Wall Street Journal. “Three quarters of Dollar Generals serve communities of 20,000 or less.”

“Dollar General go where Walmart are not,” says Sharon Terlep, a WSJ consumer products reporter. In fact, she points out that there are four times as many Dollar Generals and there are Walmarts in the United States. 

In addition to seeking out area with inexpensive real estate, the company keeps cost down by leasing its store, selling a limited number of products which it purchases in bulk, and employing minimal numbers of staff members.

The stores are not always welcome in rural communities. Opponent of Dollar General say the stores do not provide healthy food options for residents and hurt local businesses. However, convenience appears to be king. 

Although stores do not “sell the big-ticket items available at Walmart, like large TVs, bicycles or boats” NPR wrote in 2017, “some rural residents have to drive past two or three Dollar Generals to get to the closest Walmart. If they just need detergent and a few groceries, Dollar General can fulfill those needs.”

This year, the retailer announced a partnership with Feeding America to address food insecurity. “The partnership will enhance Feeding America’s rural hunger initiatives by providing more food donations to 95% of member food banks,” reports Supermarket News

Dollar General says it expects to provide people in its markets with 20 million meals each year. 

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44 responses to “Dollar General Rapidly Expands Across Rural America”

  1. Greatdane45828 says:

    What paper reported that story?

  2. RandyMarsh says:

    But 50,000 dollar generals 50 years ago had the buying power of about 200,000 dollar generals today. He could have kept some of that kept that buying power by invest in gold and silver .

  3. EdvvardCash says:

    I like Dollar General as well, but don’t know their politics. I try to go there, Aldi, and other small places. I hate spending forever in a mega store. It also helps having a butcher down the street and a big garden at home for fresh vegetables.

  4. Vault77citizenn_ says:

    Pretty much the exact same thing for me in rural Virginia

  5. ABCD says:


  6. M-i-squared says:

    The two nearest to me (2-miles & 20-miles) offer fresh fruits, vegetables meat and dairy. Yes supplies are limited, but the nearest grocery store is about 25 miles away.

  7. Cypressrider says:

    I love having a DG so close. It really helps but the company itself is cheap and they do not care about their employees. My boyfriend works there and they told him he has to keep the mask on until he gets vaxxed but he is refusing. We’ll see what happens next time to main district dude comes and sees him without a mask lol

  8. Tgoney51 says:

    Yes they are popping more stores up like crazy. I drive and deliver for dollar general and we are so short of drivers its insane so I’m not sure what this means for the future, I also don’t like how the employees at the store locations are treated ect.

  9. NeightDee says:

    My dad lives in rural Mississippi and he couldn’t be happier they put a Dollar Store near his house. Before that he had to drive 25 min to Walmart just to get some milk.

  10. cutter says:

    In 2021, it now takes five Dollar Generals to equal just one Dollar General from 2020. This is hyperdollargeneralinflation! Hedge yourself with Crypto General while you still can!

  11. Irishbandit says:

    I’ve seen a dozen or more pop up in Marion County here in Oregon over the past 2 years.

  12. SpoopSkeletal says:

    A total of 5 in a town of 45k

  13. SpoopSkeletal says:

    No kidding this article reads like I wrote it

  14. SpoopSkeletal says:

    How great are Casey’s?
    We just got one in town and off the interstate, that pizza kinda slaps

  15. SpoopSkeletal says:

    Dollar general just added 2 new stores to my town, they now form a ‘+’ shape on the map.
    I fear the townsfolk will be sacrificed to the corn gods to keep prices low

  16. Kshthymyla says:

    It’s in an account you create with the service they use for authentification. You just set up an account with that site, then upload an image or pick an icon, usual stuff. I forget the site, starts with a “g” I think

  17. Chris_criplip says:

    Dumb question, but how did you change your avatar?

  18. Chris_criplip says:

    I once lived in Ohio, and these stores are everywhere.

  19. NC_NATE says:

    Great stuff Hannah!

  20. Rwright85 says:

    Russ…. no one likes a gramor natzi…

  21. Rwright85 says:

    800 Person Town, Mid Iowa Rural. Getting a DG store… we already have a Caseys and Store…

  22. BillH says:

    The YouTube sketch comedy group “It’s a Southern Thing” did a video about the explosion of Dollar General stores back in 11/2019. It’s funny and worth a watch. They apparently saw this coming a while ago. lol I don’t know if posting links is against the rules, so I would simply suggest searching “It’s a Southern Thing Dollar General”.

  23. Bradshaw says:

    Grammar and spelling guys:( can’t be making these mistakes so early

  24. Russ says:

    “that there are four times as many Dollar Generals there are Walmarts in the United States. ”

    “that” should be removed and where was the editor with the error using “and” instead of “as.” You guys need some one that can see what is right in front of them. Good article otherwise!

  25. Nyarlethotep says:

    All product from chynuh, chynuh numba won

  26. Russ says:

    “that there are four times as many Dollar Generals there are Walmarts in the United States. ”

    “that” should be removed and were was the editor with the error using “and” instead of “as.” You guys need some one that can see what is right in front of them. Good article otherwise!

  27. smymfnc says:

    In the immortal words of the great Tim Pool… “come on copy editor guys”…LOL… Anyways my wife loves dollar general she goes there like 3 times a week… We live in Suffolk County NY on longisland so by me dollar general is no joke right next to 7-11…

  28. smymfnc says:

    In the immortal words of the great Tim Pool… “come on copy editor guys”…LOL… Anyways my wife loves dollars general she goes there like 3 times a week… We live in Suffolk County NY on longisland so by me dollar general is no joke right next to 7-11…

  29. Rojojo says:

    Southwest Illinois small town just under 10k population; we have two Dollar Generals. You can go from one to the other with a five-minute drive.

  30. TRose says:

    It’s funny to think that people who live in large cities might have no idea that dollar generals are found in the middle of no where. I work in remote areas and pass hundreds every week going to and from job sites

  31. spoonsofdoom says:

    I pass like 3-4 on the way to work. half of those are brand new within the last couple years. How did they become so popular?

  32. Wootdoo4u says:

    I live in a tiny town called senoia Georgia. We have 3 dollar generals here

  33. Demosthenes says:

    Need a copy editor. Numerous grammatical errors throughout the article.

  34. NewDawn says:

    Old news. I heard I story last year about a community not being able to have a real grocery store ( fresh food) because competition from DG.

    The worse part is the fact that the buy from there anyway. I suppose it’s an ignorance problem. We need a new way to keep companies in check because the government is now ran buy them. Sad face

  35. mikehuberts says:

    The just opened one here in Norwood, MO. The first of it’s kind ever here in our rural town. Dollar General sure comes in handy for us. They source some things from china but I see a lot of made in USA also. They also employ local plus the checkout come with a option to add cash to my bank apps.

  36. ShiningLightOnShadows says:

    There are definitely a lot of Dollar General’s out by new in Florida and I live in a very rural area. My only problem with them is I wish they would promote American made products more.

  37. Clicwinko516 says:

    Literally went this morning for cat food…it’s around the corner from where we live in rural NC – I can’t really do health grocery shopping there but yes for quick needs, everyday house items and cat needs I’m good with my DG. And they also don’t have terrible options if you need milk, almond milk, nuts, or tuna, or something you can find some healthy options for quick needs at least.

  38. AUDREK says:

    Holly shit. I had no idea they were so huge. There is one in my town of 7000 pop. Someone hit the big guard rail in the drive way, and even better someone drove into the wall right outside the refrigerator aisle. At least the drunk simpletons have somewhere nice to hang out and crash their cars that’s not our, “two lane county highway.”

  39. tycel2004 says:

    Yeah, down in central Arkansas. I’ve got three in my small town. (two in town, and one just outside of town.)

    They are going up everywhere.

  40. StephenDC says:

    They also have “Dollar General Market” which is a grocery store. What I find interesting about that is I have only seen them in larger cities, typically in the lower income areas. Perhaps they are buying dated stock from the major grocery stores in the area to supply the DCMs. Which would also explain why you do not see DCMs in rural areas because the cost of transport since major grocery chains are so far apart. Once again, that is just my speculation.

  41. BFairfax123 says:

    Yep they’re everywhere DG has been trying to buy a piece of property we own all year .Because of the location . They’ve been putting them in every few miles along the main rural roads especially in the Eastern Panhandle of WV .

  42. Turk_Longwell says:

    Yup. Up in the rural areas of Northeastern PA, there are everywhere.

  43. Pwikjr says:

    I wonder if they source products from china. Is there a store that even doesn’t do that??

  44. PetraTilling says:

    Just FYI: Dollar General has banned My Pillow. I used to shop at our newly opened DG store weekly. I was so excited to have this option in our rural community. Sadly, no more.
    I look forward to a time when companies no longer wade into politics.