Dollar General lagging behind schedule; opening expected in December

Scott Swanson

Sweet Home’s new Dollar General store is running behind schedule, but if all goes according to current plan, it will be open by the end of the year, the company says.

The 9,100-square-foot building, located across Main Street from McDonald’s and Bi-Mart, at the former location of Ron’s Radiator Shop, which has been vacant since it burned in 2007.

Steve Franklin of Merit Constructors, a Texas firm that is building multiple Dollar General stores throughout Oregon, said the target finish date for the Sweet Home store is mid-November.

“They’ll start shelving it and bringing in stock then,” he said.

Workers at the site erected a sign last week that read “Not Open” after a sales flyer appeared in The New Era.

Angela Pekovic, a spokeswoman for Dollar General, apologized for “any confusion” that fliers placed in the Oct. 25 edition “earlier than anticipated” “may have caused.”

She said a grand opening is slated for early 2018, “but we’re hoping to have a soft opening before the end of the year.” She said that will depend on construction progress.

Dollar General, founded in 1943 and headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., has 14,000 stores in 44 states. It made a move into Oregon in 2015, with 28 stores now open, mostly in small towns scattered through the southern Willamette and Rogue valleys and the southern Oregon coast. Seventeen more are currently under construction.

In addition to Sweet Home, Dollar General is planning to build a store in Brownsville after opening in Harrisburg and Philomath earlier this year. It opened another in Jefferson last Saturday and has others on line to open in Aumsville, Gervais, Dayton and Silverton.

Franklin said Merit is working on stores in Independence, Clatskanie and Rockaway Beach in addition to the Sweet Home store.

Dollar General bills itself as “America’s neighborhood general store.” It sells name-brand and private-brand merchandise such as health and beauty products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal items and basic clothing – all with a “100 percent satisfaction guarantee,” Pekovic said.

“We also sell an assortment of packaged foods, as well as some refrigerated foods and frozen foods,” she said.

Although it doesn’t limit its prices to $1 each, a study earlier this year by Kantar Retail determined that Dollar General and Walmart are the least expensive retailers for food, non-food and toiletry items.

Pekovic said the company chooses store locations based on convenient access for customers, demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns.

“The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice. We know convenience is a major factor in our customers’ shopping decisions as we generally serve customers within a three- to five-mile radius, or 10-minute drive.” 

A typical Dollar General store employs six to 10 people, depending on the individual needs of the store, she said. All hiring is done on-line, she said, at

Dollar General is “deeply involved” in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center to support adult, family, summer and youth literacy programs.

Since its inception in 1993, the DGLF has awarded more than $140 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education, including those learning English as a second language.

For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit