50 Years of 'Family'

1959: Leon Levine, a 22-year-old son of an immigrant Russian merchant, opens the first Family Dollar store on Central Avenue in Charlotte, N.C. 1961: First store opens in South Carolina. 1962: First store opens in Georgia. 1965: First store opens in Virginia. 1967: 27 stores operating in four states; annual sales top $5 million. 1969: 50 stores opened. 1970: Family Dollar goes public, offering common

1959: Leon Levine, a 22-year-old son of an immigrant Russian merchant, opens the first Family Dollar store on Central Avenue in Charlotte, N.C.

1961: First store opens in South Carolina.

1962: First store opens in Georgia.

1965: First store opens in Virginia.

1967: 27 stores operating in four states; annual sales top $5 million.

1969: 50 stores opened.

1970: Family Dollar goes public, offering common stock at $14.50 per share; adjusted for stock splits, each share is now equivalent to 162 shares.

1971: 100th store opens.

1972: Common stock begins trading on American Stock Exchange.

1974: Distribution center and headquarters open in Matthews, N.C.; 200th store opens.

1976: First quarterly cash dividend on common stock is declared.

1977: Annual sales exceed $100 million.

1978: 300th store opens.

1979: Common stock begins trading on New York Stock Exchange.

1981: 400th store opens; Howard Levine, son of Leon, joins company.

1982: 500th store opens.

1983: 700th store opens.

1987: Howard Levine leaves company, reportedly at odds with CEO father Leon.

1989: 1,500th store opens.

1992: Annual sales exceed $1 billion.

1993: 2,000th store opens.

1994: Distribution center opens in West Memphis, Ark.; company begins testing everyday-low-price concept to replace promotional positioning.

1995: EDLP implemented across chain.

1996: Howard Levine returns to company; 2,500th store opens.

1998: Howard Levine named CEO; Leon Levine remains chairman; distribution center opens in Front Royal, Va.

1999: Distribution center opens in Duncan, Okla.

2000: Annual sales exceed $3 billion; DC opens in Morehead, Ky.

2001: Family Dollar is added to the S&P 500 Index.

2002: Family Dollar joins the ranks of the Fortune 500; distribution center opens in Maquoketa, Iowa.

2003: Distribution center opens in Odessa, Texas; Family Dollar opens 5,000th store; Howard Levine named chairman as Leon Levine retires.

2004: Annual sales exceed $5 billion.

2005: Food strategy launched with installation of coolers in new and existing stores; distribution center opens in Marianna, Fla.

2006: Annual sales exceed $6 billion; 6,000th store opens.

2007: “Concept renewal” store layouts launched.

2008: Stores number nearly 6,660 and sales reach $7 billion.

2009: Family Dollar turns 50.

SOURCE: Company history, published reports, Securities and Exchange Commission filings.