PORT RICHEY - Another expansion push by Dollar General will bring two more standalone stores here to give the discount chain about two dozen locations in Pasco County. Crews are building stores along Ridge Road and State Road 52, according to county records. Each store covers an area a bit less than 9,500 square feet. The S.R. 52 site lies on the southeast corner of Altoona Avenue, a bit east of Little Road. The site on the north side of Ridge Road lies between Regency Park Boulevard and Lemon Road.
Last week, drivers could see reconstruction of the Ridge Road median and driveway entrance to the store. Road construction had closed lanes on Ridge Road at times. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., continues its shift away from stores in shopping centers to free-standing locations over the past several years, according to company executives. The chain also strives to match a development boom here by rival Family Dollar, which also has favored building stand-alone stores in recent years. Dollar General opened two West Pasco stores in January at 11926 Moon Lake Road and at 11528 S.R. 54. Stores under construction now are part of an ambitious goal to add 635 locations this year alone, Crystal Ghassemi, a Dollar General spokeswoman, said during a phone interview. That would mean some 11,000 Dollar General locations in 40 states by the end of the year, she said. Customers appear loyal to Dollar General in good times and bad times, Ghassemi added. With company roots dating back to 1939, the first store to bear the Dollar General name came in 1955. The discount chain appears to have benefited during the recession from area shoppers searching for ways to stretch a dollar. Dollar General has experienced more than two decades of same-store sales growth, according to the company's website. The chain recorded $14.8 billion in sales the past year. Growth trends continued in the most recent quarter that ended May 3, with record sales, operating profit and net income for its fiscal 2013 first quarter. Same-store sales growth rose 2.6 percent, said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General's chairman and CEO.