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Dollar General Corporation  (DG)
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    Sector  Retail    Industry Department & Discount Retail

Dollar General Corporation

Business Description


Dollar General Corporation is a leading discount retailer of quality general merchandise at everyday low prices. Through conveniently located stores, the Company offers a focused assortment of consumable basic merchandise including health and beauty aids, packaged food products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal goods, basic clothing and domestics. Dollar General stores serve primarily low-, middle- and fixed-income families.

Our Merchandise. The Company is committed to offering a focused assortment of quality, consumable basic merchandise in a number of core categories, such as health and beauty aids, packaged food products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal goods, basic clothing and domestics. Because the Company offers a focused assortment of consumable basic merchandise, customers are able to shop at Dollar General stores for their everyday household needs. In 2003, the average customer purchase was $8.56.

Our Prices. The Company distributes quality, consumable basic merchandise at everyday low prices. Its strategy of a low-cost operating structure and a focused assortment of merchandise allows the Company to offer quality merchandise at highly competitive prices. As part of this strategy, the Company emphasizes even-dollar price points. In the typical Dollar General store, the majority of the products are priced at $10 or less, with approximately 33% of the products priced at $1 or less.

Our Cost Controls. The Company emphasizes aggressive management of its overhead cost structure. Additionally, the Company seeks to locate stores in neighborhoods where rental and operating costs are relatively low. The Company attempts to control operating costs by implementing new technology where feasible. Examples of this strategy in 2003 and 2002 include improvements to the Company’s supply chain and warehousing systems, the introduction of loss prevention software designed to identify unusual cash register transactions and the implementation of a new merchandise planning system designed to assist its merchants with their purchasing and store allocation decisions.

The typical Dollar General store is operated by a manager, an assistant manager and two or more sales clerks. Approximately 56% of the Company’s stores are located in strip shopping centers, 41% are in freestanding buildings and 3% are in downtown buildings.

Competition

The Company is engaged in a highly competitive business with respect to price, store location, merchandise quality, assortment and presentation, in-stock consistency, and customer service. The Company competes with discount stores and with many other retailers, including mass merchandise, grocery, drug, convenience, variety and other specialty stores. Some of the nation’s largest retail companies operate stores in areas where the Company operates. The Company’s direct competitors in the dollar store retail category include Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Fred’s and various local, independent operators. Competitors from other retail categories include CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Eckerd, Wal-Mart and Kmart. Some of the Company’s competitors from outside the dollar store segment are better capitalized than the Company.




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