Admittedly, it is tempting to as much of your shopping at your local Dollar General Store—I mean, there is a new one popping up all the time. There is also the fact that shopping there is very affordable, and according to recent data, as many as 75% of Americans currently live within five minutes of a store. However, even with all this in mind, you may want to stop and think before heading out to shop.
More often then not, the opening of a Dollar General Store heralds in bad news for already established local businesses. It has been determined that Dollar General, and other stores like them, tend to target those areas that are all seen as in economic distress. This is often referred to as “food deserts,” where a scarcity of food exists, and the ability to get out to stop other stores further away is often prohibitive.
Over time, the local stores become unable to compete with the lower prices that Dollar General stores offer, and as a result, the local stores are inevitably forced to shutter their doors. As a result, residence no longer has access to the fresh produce and meats needed, with only frozen and processed as their choices.
In a nutshell, Dollar General targets those areas and neighborhoods that are already struggling and makes it all that much harder for both the store owner to stay in business and the consumers to receive access to healthy food choices. A researcher in Kansas who studies grocery stores, David Procter, said: “At least every week, we get emails or calls from some small town saying Dollar General has been in town, and our business is suffering.”
It is also essential that we point out that Dollar General, on average, only hires five to six employees per store. At the same time, compared to the fifteen to seventeen that your local grocery store employees. This only shows that Dollar General stores are also reducing job options for those same local residents.
CNN also reported that 75% of all Dollar General stores are placed in those communities containing 20,000 or fewer residents, and usually placed up to 15 miles from the nearest full-time grocery store. Typically, these stores do not offer their shoppers fresh fruits or vegetables—however, you have a good chance of getting milk, eggs, and bread. Again, their main focus is primarily on packaged and processed foods, which equal out to be unhealthy at the least.
Will Dollar General stores bring about the “death” of smaller local grocery stores in the end?