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Dollar General set to open in W’bago

Store welcomed by city officials, others express a few concerns

July 30, 2017
Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer , Faribault County Register

Since its inception in 1993, Dollar General has prided itself on satisfying the various needs of their customers. With that mission statement in mind, the Dollar General is opening up a new location in Winnebago.

The new store, located at 701 South Main St. in Winnebago, will be the third Dollar General in Faribault County. At this time, the grand opening is slated for Aug. 26, but that may be subject to change due to construction concerns.

At this particular location, Dollar General will look to employ approximately 6-10 new workers depending on the individual needs of the store. According to Laura Somerville, corporate communications coordinator of Dollar General, this location was chosen because data research suggests very favorable demographics and consumer habits in this area.

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This new Dollar General Store in Winnebago is the third one to be located in Faribault County. The company, which is hiring 6-10 employees, says the new store will be opening soon, with a target date for a grand opening of Aug. 26 – but that date is subject to change. The store is on Highway 169, south edge of town.

"When choosing store locations, meeting customers' needs is Dollar General's top priority," Somerville says. "The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice. We know convenience is a major factor as we generally serve customers within a three to five mile radius. We also take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration."

The ball officially started rolling on this new business development during the spring. Winnebago Mayor Jeremiah Schutt explains that the process for a new Dollar General franchise moved along fairly quickly from that point on. As Schutt sees it, the benefit to having a new store in town will give local shoppers more options than ever before.

"The Dollar General offers items that we don't currently have in town," Schutt says. "Local shoppers can now find cosmetic products, a wider variety of clothing options, and other items right here in town."

Meanwhile, Winnebago city administrator Chris Ziegler echoed the mayor's optimistic mindset. Because the building itself is a $600,000 investment, it is easy to see why city officials are excited about its future.

"The job gains will be a big plus," says Ziegler. "It has been several years since we had an investment of this magnitude on Main Street.

"Folks in Winnebago have not had retail clothing, bed and bath, school supplies or electronics options in over 10 years. We'll be able to draw people from other communities," Ziegler continued.

Unfortunately, not everyone in town shares enthusiasm for the new Dollar General. Both Schutt and Ziegler have seen growing concern among Winnebago citizens that the new establishment may cause too much competition with existing businesses in the area.

While perishable food items will not be available at Dollar General, increased competition may arise with local vendors when it comes to hardware, cleaning supplies, and other products featured in the new store.

Nonetheless, Ziegler and Schutt are in agreement that Dollar General will be an overall improvement to business in Winnebago. Not only will shoppers within the city have more products to choose from, but the new establishment will likely attract customers living outside of Winnebago.

"I have heard both sides of the argument and I understand the concern," Schutt added. "There may be a little more competition for business, but if everyone can work together, this can be a very good situation for the community."

Aside from generating business for the city of Winnebago, the Dollar General chain is deeply involved in the communities it serves. In fact, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries.

The goal of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is to support customers interested in learning how to read, speak English or excel on their high school equivalency test. At the cash register of every Dollar General store, brochures with postage-paid reply cards are readily available.

The franchise's rich tradition has resulted in over $135 million in grants awarded on behalf of Dollar General. Helping various non-profit organizations in literacy and educational pursuits has resulted in more than 8.6 million individuals receive invaluable learning opportunities that may not have previously existed.



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