Who Owns Dollar General Stores?

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / March 10, 2023
dollar general

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 Dollar General Stores 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.

J.L. Turner

James Luther Turner was a pivotal figure in the early history and development of Dollar General, a prominent American retail company known for its discount stores. Turner played a significant role in shaping Dollar General into the retail giant it is today.

James Luther Turner, commonly referred to as “J.L. Turner,” was born in 1925 in Scottsville, Kentucky, USA. He had a background in retail and had gained experience working in various businesses before venturing into his own retail endeavor.

Founding of Dollar General

In 1955, J.L. Turner, along with his son, Cal Turner Sr., founded the first Dollar General store in Springfield, Kentucky. The store’s concept was simple yet revolutionary at the time: to provide a wide range of merchandise at affordable, fixed prices. Dollar General’s motto, “Every Day Low Prices,” reflected its commitment to offering customers value for their money.

Pioneering the Dollar Store Concept

J.L. Turner’s innovative approach to retailing was instrumental in pioneering the concept of the modern dollar store. His vision was to create a store that catered to the needs of budget-conscious consumers by providing essential items at one-dollar price points. This concept resonated with customers, and Dollar General stores quickly gained popularity.

Rapid Expansion

Under J.L. Turner’s leadership, Dollar General experienced rapid growth and expansion. The company’s successful business model, which focused on offering a broad selection of products at competitive prices, allowed it to open multiple stores across the southeastern United States.

Dollar General Corporation Formation

In 1968, Dollar General officially incorporated as Dollar General Corporation, marking a significant milestone in the company’s history. This move facilitated further growth and organizational development.

Cal Turner Sr.

He played a vital role in the company’s growth and success, following in the footsteps of his father, J.L. Turner, who co-founded Dollar General.

Early Life and Family Legacy

Cal Turner Sr. was born in 1925 into the Turner family, which had a background in retailing. His father, J.L. Turner, was the co-founder of Dollar General, and Cal would later carry on his family’s retail legacy.

Taking Over the Business

Cal Turner Sr. assumed leadership of Dollar General following the passing of his father, J.L. Turner. He inherited a company that had already established a reputation for offering affordable merchandise to budget-conscious consumers.

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Expansion and Growth

Under Cal Turner Sr.’s leadership, Dollar General experienced significant expansion. He continued to build upon the foundation laid by his father, emphasizing the company’s commitment to providing customers with everyday low prices on a wide range of essential products.

Cal Turner Sr. oversaw the growth of Dollar General into a retail powerhouse, with numerous stores throughout the southeastern United States. The company’s stores became staples in many communities, known for their convenience and affordability.

Public Offering and Development

In 1968, during Cal Turner Sr.’s tenure as CEO, Dollar General Corporation officially went public. This marked a critical step in the company’s development, enabling it to raise capital for further expansion and organizational development.

Family Involvement

The Turner family remained closely involved in the management of Dollar General during Cal Turner Sr.’s leadership. His son, Cal Turner Jr., also played a significant role in the company. The family’s commitment to the business and its values helped maintain Dollar General’s reputation for offering value and affordability to its customers.

Continued Success

Dollar General continued to thrive under Cal Turner Sr.’s leadership, and the company’s retail footprint expanded across the United States. Dollar General’s stores provided a wide variety of products, from household items and clothing to food and personal care products, all at competitive prices.

Growth of the Store (1968-2002)

With the company public, Cal 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.

Today (2003-Present)

In 2003, 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 opened their first store in Idaho.

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Who Owns Dollar General Stores Today?

Jeffrey Owen

Today, Jeffrey Owen is the CEO of the company. According to Dollar General’s website:

“Mr. Owen has served as our Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board since November 2022. He previously served as our Chief Operating Officer from August 2019 to November 2022. He returned to Dollar General in June 2015 as Executive Vice President of Store Operations, with over 21 years of previous employment experience with the Company, including Senior Vice President, Store Operations (August 2011 to July 2014); Vice President, Division Manager (March 2007 to July 2011); Retail Division Manager (November 2006 to March 2007); and various other operations roles of increasing importance and responsibility. Mr. Owen began his employment at Dollar General in December 1992. Mr. Owen served as a director of Kirkland’s Inc. from March 2015 to September 2022.”

Kelly Dilts

Serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer is Kelly Dilts. According to Dollar Gener’s website:

“Ms. Dilts has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 1, 2023. She joined Dollar General in July 2019 as Senior Vice President, Finance, overseeing financial planning and analysis; procurement; margin planning and analytics; decision science and analytics; and investor relations. Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Dilts served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Francesca’s Holdings Corporation, a specialty retailer operating a nationwide chain of boutiques, from April 2016 until July 2019. Between February 1998 and April 2016, she held various positions of increasing responsibility in finance and investor relations with Tailored Brands, Inc., including Senior Vice President, Finance and Investor Relations (June 2014 to April 2016); Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer (July 2012 to June 2014); Vice President, Finance (April 2003 to July 2012); Associate Vice President, Finance (April 2002 to April 2003); Financial Planning and Analysis Manager (March 2000 to April 2002); and Assistant Controller (February 1998 to March 2000). She also served as the Controller for Olympia Enterprises from April 1993 to February 1998, after beginning her career with Deloitte & Touche in January 1990.”

Investors have 91.45 percent of the shares of Dollar General. The largest is T.Rowe Price with over 7% in stakes.

Dollar General Stores Fun Facts

Mission

Dollar General’s mission is to “Serve Others” by providing customers with high-quality, affordable products and a convenient shopping experience.

Rural Focus

Dollar General has a strong presence in rural and small-town America. Many of its stores are strategically located in areas where access to affordable goods and groceries may be limited, making it an essential resource for these communities. Yet, Dollar General’s stores are strategically located in both urban and rural areas, making them accessible to a wide range of customers.

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Private Label Brands

Dollar General offers a range of private label brands, including DG Home (household items), DG Baby (baby products), DG Health (health and wellness products), and Clover Valley (grocery items). These private label brands provide quality products at competitive prices.

Literacy Foundation

Dollar General has a strong commitment to education and literacy. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations and schools to support literacy programs and initiatives. Since its inception in 1993, the foundation has awarded millions of dollars in grants to promote literacy and education.

DG Mobile

Dollar General introduced DG Mobile, a mobile app that allows customers to access digital coupons, find store locations, and make shopping lists. The app provides an additional way for customers to save enough money and stay connected with the store.

Dollar General Market

In addition to its traditional Dollar General stores, the company also operates Dollar General Market stores. These larger-format stores offer a wider selection of fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, catering to customers’ grocery needs.

Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Dollar General has taken steps to become more environmentally responsible. They have implemented energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration systems in some stores, as well as recycling programs for plastic and cardboard materials.

Digital Coupons

Dollar General offers digital coupons through their website and mobile app. Customers can clip these coupons digitally and redeem them at checkout, providing additional savings on their purchases.

Non-Profit Partnerships

Dollar General partners with various nonprofit organizations, including Feeding America, to help fight hunger in the communities it serves. The company has made substantial donations to support food banks and combat food insecurity.

In-House Distribution

Dollar General operates its distribution centers, which allows the company to have better control over its supply chain and maintain its commitment to offering low prices to customers.

Dollar General Literacy Zone

Some Dollar General stores feature a designated area known as the “Dollar General Literacy Zone.” These zones provide educational resources, books, and activities to promote literacy and learning for children and families.

Dollar General Shares

Dollar General is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “DG.” Investors have the opportunity to buy and sell shares in the company.

Conclusion

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!

About The Author

Tristan Anderson

Hello! My name is Tristan Anderson and I live in Manhattan, Kansas. I enjoy being in nature and animals. I am also a huge geek who loves Star Wars and has a growing collection.

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