HUDSON — What do you think of the new store coming to your neighborhood?
The question about the building under construction was aimed at a couple about to enter the Circle K convenience store across the street.
“What’s it going to be?” she asked.
It’s a new Dollar General store.
“Another one?” she asked. “Seems like there’s one of those on every corner now.”
Not quite, but it will be the Hudson area’s eighth Dollar General. It’s only about 2 miles from the nearest Dollar General, at the Griffin Park neighborhood, near the S.R. 52 and Little Road intersection. It’s opening before summer at the intersection of Hudson Avenue and Hicks Road. It’s coming along just as a sidewalk project is wrapping up that creates a safe walkway to the store along Hicks Road all the way from S.R. 52. It’s all part of the Tennessee-based Dollar General’s strategy to place stores within walking or short driving distances from neighborhoods—a business model similar to that used by convenience store chains.
The store will be approximately 9,100 square feet, with a 7,300-square-foot sales floor. It will employ six to 10 people. Anyone interested in a job can apply online at www.dollargeneral.com/careers.
“Dollar General is excited to be under construction on a new location in Hudson, Florida,” said Mary Kathryn Colbert, a Dollar General public relations representative. “Our customers are at the center of all that we do, and meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority when choosing store locations.”
Colbert said Dollar General evaluates several factors when considering potential new-store sites, among them the lack of “affordable nearby retail options.” That means if residents of a neighborhood have to travel too far for the things they need at affordable prices, that neighborhood is a potential home to a Dollar General.
“It’s definitely going to be convenient,” said Natalie Berthiaume, who lives about a mile from the new store.” “Having it so close, I’ll definitely be using it.”
Gayle Hoffman also lives about a mile away from the soon-to-open store.
“I’m surprised they put it on this corner,” she said, adding that while she never felt the need for a neighborhood Dollar General store, the household items and food the store sells likely means she’ll “probably use it” for shopping from time to time to save having to drive out of the neighborhood.
Colbert said price, value and selection criteria are used to determine the merchandise stocked to serve a given community.
According to the company website, Dollar General designs “small neighborhood stores with carefully edited merchandise assortments to make shopping simpler. We don’t carry every brand and size, just those our customers want the most.
Colbert said Dollar General sells quality, name-brand and private brand merchandise such as foods, health and beauty products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal items and basic clothing.
While about a quarter of items at Dollar General stores sell for a dollar, dollar stores have evolved into alternatives to stores like Walmart and major grocery chains, which means they offer products those stores offer that are priced in excess of a dollar. Dollar Tree stores are the only stores among the three major dollar store chains where nothing costs more than $1, according to the company’s website. Unlike Dollar General stores, Hudson-area Dollar Tree stores are along major roadways alongside most retailers rather than embedded within or on the outskirts of residential neighborhoods.
Colbert said the relationship with the neighborhoods where her company’s stores are located is part of the corporate ethos at Dollar General, which includes supporting local supporter literacy programs.
“Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs,” said Colbert.
Dollar General also supports individuals in its communities to learn to read or speak English or prepare for high school equivalency tests through referrals to free programs in their area. Information is available at the Dollar General website.
Dollar General started in 1939 and is based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. It has more than 15,000 stores in 44 states.