Dollar General is synonymous with dirt-cheap prices. The stores (almost 9,000 of them) cater to those on tight budgets and those who want the best possible deals. They also have a focus for being rural options, with new stores springing up in areas where there is little or no competition at all. Now they’re adding something else that they might become known for – the sale of beer and wine. The program started testing in 2010 and it was quite successful. For 2011, the company plans to keep rolling it out in areas where alcohol sales are allowed.
Dollar General first rolled out their alcohol sales program in a handful of areas, including Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as well as a few other areas. According to the company, the eventual goal is to offer alcohol sales in fully half of their stores across the nation. This year, they are moving into new markets. Alabama is one of those markets. A newly constructed store in Cherokee, Alabama, will be offering alcoholic beverages and will be one of only two stores in the area that sells beer or wine. One store that previously offered beer and liquor was forced to close its doors due to the economic recession and a lack of sales.
For the town of Cherokee, the introduction of Dollar General’s alcohol sales seems to be a mix of benefits and controversy. Many in the rural town disagree with the decision to allow the retailer to offer alcohol. However, the town’s financial situation is dire and the proceeds from allowing Dollar General to offer beer and wine are essential to stability.
While it might seem out of the ordinary for a store like Dollar General to offer beer and wine, more and more nontraditional retailers are taking this stance. Target has long offered alcohol in some of their stores where ordinances allow it. Walgreen’s has been selling alcohol and has even developed their own brand specific to their stores. CVS also offers alcohol in some of their locations.
More and more national retail stores are coming to the realization that beer (and often craft beer at that) is very good for business. In the future, it just might be possible to buy your brew at almost any location convenient to you, even if that’s just your local Dollar General or your local drugstore.