If you live in a rural area, then chances are you have seen the famous yellow sign and no, we are not talking about McDonald’s. Dollar General has been a stable and profitable store in rural United States for many decades. This company has had a long history and who owns it now may surprise you. The following text is to explain Dollar General’s creation and who owns it now. With that being said, let’s get started!
Early Years (1939-1964)
Dollar General was formerly known as J.L. Turner and Son. It was founded in Scottsville, Kentucky by James Luther Turner and his son Cal Turner.
Due to his father’s fatal accident in 1902, James paused his education and worked to put food on the table. James would later become a traveling salesman for a grocer in Tennessee. He left after a decade and started a family back in Scottsville.
During the Great Depression, James took over as many general stores as he could. His only child, Cal, would observe during these transactions so that he could gain important business skills.
Then, in October 1939, the two of them opened J.L. Turner and Son with an investment of $5,000 each. They made a switch to retail and by the early 50s, they had made yearly sales of over $2 million.
About two decades later, Cal had the idea to have a retail store where everything was a dollar. This stemmed from the coupon marketing that his competitors did. He then turned Turner’s Department Store into the first Dollar General in Springfield, Kentucky. In 1964, James Turned passed away and left Cal to succeed him.
Growth of the Store (1968-2002)
In 1968, Cal Turner went public with Dollar General Corporation. Turner would go on to become a multi-millionaire with his hit retail franchise. A decade later, Cal Turner’s son, Cal Turner Jr., joined the company and took over the role of president. He served in that role until 2002. In that time frame, Dollar General created thousands of stores across the United States and generated billions in revenue.
At the start of the century in 2000, Dollar General made new headquarters in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. When Cal Jr. retired in 2002, he was replaced by future Senator of Georgia David Perdue.
That same year, Dollar General joined the grocery industry. A year later, Dollar General began to outsource to an office in Hong Kong. David Perdue would then leave in the summer of 2007. Later during the summer, all shares of Dollar General stock were to be under private equity investors for just $22 a share.
This investment group was made up of:
- Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
- GS Capital Partners
- Citigroup Private Equity
- and others
Dollar General would then be acquired for $6.9 billion. The retailer would then go through a process of creating new jobs during the 2010s. In fact, they opened their 16,000th store in Panama City, Florida in September 2019. In March of last year, Dollar General would open their first store in Idaho.
Who Owns Dollar General Today?
Today, the current CEO of Dollar General is Todd Vasos. With him is John Garratt as the vice president and CFO and Jeffrey Owens is the COO.
Investors have 91.45 percent of the shares of Dollar General. The largest is T.Rowe Price with over 7% in stakes.
Dollar General was a family-owned business that started many decades ago. Since then, it has been a staple of the rural experience for many Americans.
This company has continued to work and grow itself to over 17,000 stores in at least 46 states. For those of you out there, also under a family business, who knows, maybe you will have the next Dollar General!