Dollar General's aggressive business model is targeting rural America in particular, in part because of no or lax land use management. Communities across the country are now pushing back.
Their strategy is to build stores within 10 miles of each other all over the country - with no consideration for whether they make sense for the community. They simply need to find a willing land owner. There are places where a Dollar General may be helpful; the Ebony community is not one. It is not needed, will simply be an eyesore, and will do harm.
While you will always find folks who love Dollar General "convenience and low pricing", regardless of the location and the harmful side effects, the overwhelming voice of Ebony, nearby communities including our Lake Gaston friends, and beyond are saying NO - loud and clear.
Bringing Dollar General to Ebony will completely destroy the identity and character of the community that has been preserved for more that 100 years -- and put our 2 local stores at risk. In addition to the 2 local communities business locations, there are two Dollar Generals within 6 and 10 miles of this proposed setting in Ebony, plus a Family Dollar, Ace Hardward, DrugCo, and Food Lion within 6.5 miles.
The proliferation of Dollar General stores especially in sparsely populated rural areas is a problem within itself and does not even make business sense. These stores are essentially competing for the same trade and not growing new business. When a store underperforms, it is closed and then what? The essence of the community will have already been destroyed and because the location is zoned business, there will be essentially no control on what may follow.
The alleged business development "benefits" for the County of bringing in Dollar General will be more than offset by the negative impacts to the community and its citizens.
Communities, like Ebony, are now stepping up to push back and add more rigor to assessing the fit for Dollar General in a community.
We are holding each other and our leadership accountable for considering the whole picture: looking at the true need, whether it is a fit for the location, and the overall cost and benefit to the community and county.
Sadly, 3 of 5 Brunswick County Supervisors elected to ignore the whole picture and voted on 1/29/20 to approve rezoning that opens the door for Dollar General in Ebony. An Appeal was filed on 2/28/20 and currently underway.
Halifax County, VA - Cluster Springs:
Orange County, VA - Barboursville:
CBS NEWS 12/8/2019: It's the latest struggle between Main Street and corporate America: Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have opened tens of thousands of retail outlets across the U.S., and in many rural areas they are the only game in town. Grocers say these stores have effectively forced them out of business, thereby reducing options for fresh food and produce for miles around. Special Contributor Allison Aubrey, of National Public Radio, reports. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/dollar-stores-and-food-deserts-the-latest-struggle-between-main-street-and-corporate-america/
CBS NEWS 12/8/2019: , there are now more Dollar Stores in the U.S. than Starbucks and McDonald's combined – 30,000 of them!
Dollar General’s aggressive business model targets rural America with the goal of planting stores within 10 miles of each other, in particular, where there tends to be no or lax land management practices. Also they look for "low income areas" with limited access to full service grocery stores.
While the proliferation may offer closer access to a low quality food supply and other merchandise at a cheaper price, it will put nearby community stores out of business. At the end of the day, price determines buying behavior. Even those who adamantly oppose Dollar General coming to a community, will end up doing business there because of pricing. Research shows that Dollar General is prepared to take a loss for 2 years to keep pricing low enough to build their clientele at the expense of local business that will go under.
The economic benefit also does not add up when the Dollar General stores negatively impacts or shuts down other businesses. Any jobs that may be created are offset by jobs that will be lost. Also, profits primarily go back to the corporate entity and not to the community..
Even full services grocery stores like Food Lion and big box store like Walmart are feeling the impact as a results of having so many Dollar General taking a part of their business. The presence of Dollar General also discourages new appropriate businesses from being interested in a community.
What happens if Dollar General is allowed in and then the volume of business does not materialize? At that point The land is already zoned business and the seller will not care who buys and what they plan to do as a business. There is a long list of compliant businesses that could be pursued with little to no county oversight or approval process.
How Communities Across the Country are Fighting Back