Dollar General, which has its roots in southcentral Kentucky, is expanding those roots in a big way: The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discount retailer that got its start in Scottsville has a new store being built on Three Springs Road and two others in the works in Bowling Green.
It’s part of a growth strategy by Dollar General that calls for the company to open 975 new stores in the current fiscal year. Bucking the trend of declining brick-and-mortar retail sales, Dollar General saw its net sales rise by 9.2 percent for the 2018 fiscal year, reaching $25.6 billion from its 15,370 stores across 44 states.
That growth strategy is certainly evident in Bowling Green, where a new store is going up at 813 Three Springs Road. Another at 2371 Plano Road is awaiting rezoning approval from Warren County Fiscal Court and a third is in the works at 6567 Nashville Road across from Fern Runners.
Dollar General Public Relations Coordinator Angela Petkovic says the Three Springs Road store should open this fall. She said decisions on when to build the other two stores haven’t been made.
“We are reviewing the opportunity to add new stores in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet,” Petkovic said in an email. “A part of our due diligence phase includes securing all necessary permits to ensure that we can move forward with a project should we decide to at the conclusion of that process. Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on the Plano Road location by early fall and the Nashville Road location by early winter.”
Adding the three stores would fit with a high-density strategy that has seen Dollar General put up multiple stores locally in recent years. An internet search shows 14 current Dollar General locations in Warren County as the retailer aims to be convenient to as many customers as possible.
“When choosing store locations, meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority,” Petkovic said. “The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice. We know convenience is a major factor in our customers’ shopping decisions.”
Petkovic said the company generally tries to serve customers within a 10-minute drive.
That clustering of stores, while successful for Dollar General and other discount retailers, has drawn criticism in some quarters for discouraging supermarkets from opening and hurting the business of homegrown grocery stores.
Such criticism came up in June when the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County considered the application by Dollar General to rezone the former Ruben’s Auto Services property on Plano Road. Local residents argued against the rezoning, based on the possible negative impact on such local stores as the Plano Country Store and an increase in traffic along Plano Road and Carter Sims Road. The rezoning passed the planning commission anyway and is awaiting a second and final reading by fiscal court.
The store being built on Three Springs Road stands to have a bigger impact on existing retailers. It is located close to three convenience stores: AM Express, Minit Mart and Crossroads IGA.
AM Express Owner Pinki Patel doesn’t seem concerned about having another store nearby.
“We’ll have one more competitor, but we’re ready for that,” Patel said. “We’re open 24 hours a day and have a 24-hour coin laundry, plus we have plans to bring some new stuff to our store.”