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Dollar General 

“Market Cap $18.07 B As of May 2014

At a Glance

  • Industry: Discount Stores
  • Founded: 1939
  • Country: United States
  • CEO: Richard Dreiling
  • Website: www.dollargeneral.com
  • Employees: 100,600
  • Sales: $17.5 B
  • Headquarters: Goodlettsville, Tennessee

Forbes Lists

#640 Global 2000

  • #538 in Sales
  • #619 in Profit
  • #1673 in Assets
  • #609 in Market value
Profile

Dollar General Corp. is a discount retailer in the United States. The company offers a broad selection of merchandise, including consumables, seasonal, home products and apparel. Its consumables include paper and cleaning products, such as paper towels, bath tissue, paper dinnerware, trash and storage bags, laundry and other home cleaning supplies; packaged food, such as cereals, canned soups and vegetables, condiments, spices, sugar and flour; perishables, such as milk, eggs, bread, frozen meals, beer and wine; snacks, such as candy, cookies, crackers, salty snacks and carbonated beverages; health and beauty, including over-the-counter medicines and personal care products, such as soap, body wash, shampoo, dental hygiene and foot care products; and pet, including pet supplies and pet food. The company’s seasonal products include decorations, toys, batteries, small electronics, greeting cards, stationery, prepaid phones and accessories, gardening supplies, hardware, automotive and home office supplies. Its home products includes kitchen supplies, cookware, small appliances, light bulbs, storage containers, frames, candles, craft supplies and kitchen, bed and bath soft goods. The company’s apparel includes casual everyday apparel for infants, toddlers, girls, boys, women and men, as well as socks, underwear, disposable diapers, shoes and accessories. Dollar General was founded by J. L. Turner and Hurley Calister Turner Sr. in 1939 and is headquartered in Goodlettsville, TN.

Dollar General History

The stores were founded in 1939 by Cal Turner Sr. and his father J.L. Turner in Scottsville, Kentucky as J.L. Turner & Son, Inc. Their descendant Cal Turner Jr. later worked as CEO of the firm for 25 years  and he is now Chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation and a member of Brentwood United Methodist Church. In 1968, the business changed its name to Dollar General Corporation. In 2007, the company was acquired by the private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which took the company public in 2009.

The first Dollar General store opened in Scottsville, Kentucky, on June 1, 1955, the concept was that no item in the store would cost more than one dollar. The idea became a success, and other stores owned by J.L. Turner and his son Cal Turner were quickly converted. By 1957, annual sales of Dollar General’s 29 stores were $5 million. The Turners did not reach this level of success without obstacles. James Luther (J.L.) Turner’s father died in an accident in 1902 when J.L. was only 11. J.L. had to quit school so he could work the family farm and help provide for his mother and siblings. He never completed his education. J.L. knew his limited education demanded that he become a quick study of the world around him. After two unsuccessful attempts at retailing, J.L. became a traveling dry goods salesman for a Nashville wholesale grocer. J.L. left the sales job after 10 years and settled his family in Scottsville, Kentucky. During the Depression, he began buying and liquidating bankrupt general stores. J.L.’s only child, Cal Turner, Sr., accompanied his father to these closeouts at a young age, gaining valuable business knowledge and skills.

In October 1939, J.L. and Cal opened J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale with an initial investment of $5,000 each. Wholesaling quickly gave way to retailing – J.L.’s third and final attempt at retailing. The switch to retailing resulted in annual sales above $2 million by the early 1950s.

J.L. died in 1964. Four years later, the company he co-founded went public as Dollar General Corporation, posting annual sales of more than $40 million and net income in excess of $1.5 million. In 1977, Cal Turner, Jr., who joined the company in 1965 as the third generation Turner, succeeded his father as president of Dollar General. Cal Jr. led the company until his retirement in 2002. Under his leadership, the company grew to more than 6,000 stores and $6 billion in sales.

Acquisition and spinoff

On July 6, 2007, all shares of Dollar General stock were acquired by private equity investors for $22 per share. An investment group consisting of affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), GS Capital Partners (an affiliate of Goldman Sachs), Citigroup Private Equity and other co-investors completed an acquisition of Dollar General Corporation for a total enterprise value of $7.3 billion.

As a part of the transition to a privately held company, Dollar General assessed each location at the end of its lease against a model known as “EZ Stores”. This assessment included evaluating whether the location had a loading dock, garbage dumpsters, adequate parking, and acceptable profitability. Stores that did not pass this evaluation were relocated or closed. Over 400 stores were closed as part of this initiative.

In August 2009, the company announced it will file for an initial public offering, turning the company, again, into a publicly traded corporation. Although the timing of the Initial Public Offering (IPO) was not announced by Dollar General or KKR, Dollar General filed on August 20, 2009 for an initial offering of up to $750 MillionThe return of Dollar General to public ownership has been estimated to deliver up to a 30% increase in value to KKR over the two-year period it will have been private, making it a rare gem in KKR’s current portfolio.”

*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org

**Video published on YouTube by “Dollar General