HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. - Dollar General continues adding stores that sell beer, as it makes inroads into Kentucky, the Evansville Courier Press reports. The dollar chain already sells beer and wine in a dozen states, including Arkansas, Missouri and Indiana.
Last year, Dollar General began a more concentrated effort to sell beer in more locations as part of its push to be more convenient to its customers. "We ... provide customers with a highly convenient shopping experience," the company said in its annual report in early 2012.
However, NACS spokesman Jeff Lenard was quick to point out that "Dollar General is not a convenience store." Convenience stores, which sold more than $16.7 billion in beer for 2011, generally have less floor space, offer hot snacks and sell fuel. "But they are very much a 'convenient' store," said Lenard of discount stores.
With 10,000 locations, Dollar General could become a big seller of beer. The company has plans to open even more stores in the United States. "We believe we have the long-term potential in the U.S. to more than double our existing store base" the company€™s report said.
Convenience store owners are more concerned about fairness in beer sales than about discount chains like Dollar General selling beer. "What our retailers most care about is the ability to have a level playing field and compete on equal terms, and may the best retailer win," said Lenard. However, "I don't think anyone looks forward to a day when Dollar General competes against them for beer sales."
Last month, Dollar General announced its intention of transforming itself into more of a general store.