Dollar General Boosts Store Size

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. — Dollar General Corp. [1] here said it plans to continue to test its large-format Dollar General store based on “very strong” customer response.

The large format stores cover 10,000 square feet — compared with 7,200 square feet at a conventional Dollar General store and 16,000 square feet at a Dollar General Market — and feature expanded cooler space but no fresh meats or produce. The company declined to indicate how many large-format dollar stores it operates.

Rick DreillingRick Dreiling [2], chairman, president and chief executive officer, said the company refers to the format internally as DG-Plus. 

Dollar General anticipates opening approximately 80 DG-Plus stores this year, including remodels and relocations, Dreiling said during a conference call with analysts to discuss financial results for the fourth quarter and year, which ended Feb. 3.

“[The format] is part of our future,” Dreiling said. “It’s a little early to stand up and say how many stores we think there are going to be, but looking at the ones we’ve opened and the ones we’ve remodeled, we’re very pleased with what we’re seeing, though we’ve got a lot of work to do yet.”

For the 14-week quarter, net income rose 31.4% to $292.5 million, while sales increased 20.1% to $4.2 billion and same-store sales on a 13-week basis jumped 6.5%. Excluding the extra week, sales were up 11.8%.

2012 SN Top 75: Dollar General Ranks No. 15 [1]

For the 53-week year net income climbed 22.4% to $766.7 million, while sales rose 13.6% to $14.8 billion and same-store sales, on a comparable 52-week basis, increased 6%.

"The strategies and investments we have put in place over the last four years have helped us capture the market share, customer loyalty and operating efficiencies that are driving our results," Dreiling said. "Those strategies and investments, along with the ones we have planned for 2012, will continue to serve us well. In fact, sales for the year are off to a strong start.