Summary of “Where even Walmart won’t go: how Dollar General took over rural America”

Friesen understood why dying towns with no shops beyond the convenience store at the gas station welcomed Dollar General out of desperation for anything at all, like Burton, just up the road, where the last food shop closed 20 years ago.
Dollar General is opening stores at the rate of three a day across the US. It moves into places not even Walmart will go, targeting rural towns and damaged inner-city neighbourhoods with basic goods at basic prices – a strategy described by a former chief executive of the chain as “We went where they ain’t”.
Dollar Generals are frequently found at the heart of “Food deserts”, defined by the department of agriculture as a rural community where one-third of residents live more than 10 miles from a grocery store selling fresh produce.
The arrival of Dollar General cost the Foodliner hundreds of thousands of dollars over that time.
“On the average there are about 15 employees in these small grocery stores and Dollar General stores might have five employees. Profits from small-town grocery stores are generally going to stay in that town whereas profits made by Dollar General, a significant percentage of them anyway, are going to the corporate office in Tennessee,” he said.
“Grocery stores give more back to the community. They are much more likely to support local sporting teams, local faith-based organisations. Dollar General corporate policy sets a pretty strict limit on how much community giving they provide,” said Procter.
It remains to be seen how much business will transfer from the defunct grocery store to the Dollar General but the end result is the Haven’s main street is finding it even more of a struggle to survive with the diminished flow of people to pick up groceries.
“I would still vote for Dollar General. If one state didn’t accept the Model-T it wouldn’t have changed the outcome. I think Buhler voted their sentiment. The question is, in five years will they have a Dollar General or something similar?”.

The orginal article.