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Dollar General CEO: Best Investment Is Expansion

Monday, 6 Apr 2009 | 3:17 PM ET

It's a tough time for many retailers, but you might not know it looking at Dollar General.

AP

The discount retailer is preparing to create as many as 4,000 jobs this year as part of its effort to open 450 stores in 35 states.

“We’re coming off of a very good year 2008, and quite frankly see no better thing to do than reinvest back into the chain," said Dollar General CEO Richard Dreiling, in an interview with CNBC's Erin Burnett.

The news is welcome in a sector that has been bleeding jobs. Several retailers have recently been forced to liquidate, while other retail chains have shed jobs in an effort to hold down costs.

The expansion speaks to Dollar General's convenience strategy. The company operates more stores than any other discount retailer, including Wal-Mart Stores .

Cost-conscious consumers have been turning to discounters in an effort to make their money stretch further, and many of the places where Dollar General will be expanding are some of the areas hardest hit by the current recession.

"Customers are coming in more often and we are also seeing new customers who are attracted to our value proposition," Dreiling said.

The privately held company also has been trying to widen the array of products it sells and to improve customer service.

"We're really pushing the envelope on the traditional discount model," he said.

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