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Small Town Grocer Concerned Over Dollar General Coming to Town

KINGSLEY, Iowa — A new Dollar General Store is under construction in the small Plymouth County Town of Kinglsey. The store will open sometime in the near future, but already one local business is concerned about the future.

Chet Davis has run Chet’s Foods for 40 years. He knows first-hand how the chain store can impact a local economy.

“They come in they hurt you right away,” said Davis. “Right off the top, probably take about 25% of your business.”

Davis while running his store in Kingsley, was hired to run a community grocery store called the Moville Market in a town about 10 miles to the southwest. The market was running, when Dollar General opened.

“We were there about a year, and struggling and we tried to do what we could to try to increase the volume of the business, but it didn’t grow enough to put us back to where we were in the black,” said Davis. “When you’re in a small town, I mean every dollar counts whether you are going to keep the doors open or not.”

The town of Kingsley was asked to try to stop Dollar General from coming there.

“Well, we tried to go to the City Council, and they said well, they couldn’t really do a whole lot about it. We did have the people in town got up a petition,” said Davis. “Depends on the people in town, if they patronize us so we can keep the doors open, we’ll keep it open.”

Davis said he is not aware of any local grocers who have kept going after Dollar General.

In a statement from Crystal Ghassemi, of Dollar General Corporation IN Goodetsville, TN, the firm cites a Dollar General in Chester Vermont where a local grocer’s business was helped by Dollar General.

“We believe our small-box footprint and product assortment helps our customers stretch their budgets, particularly on items such as paper and cleaning products, which often are offered at much higher prices in both large and small grocery stores,” said Ghassemi. “Our stores provide customers with both alternative and complementary options to items sold in larger-box grocers and retailers, as such, we believe the proximity of a Dollar General store to a local grocer provides customers with a more comprehensive and local retail shopping experience.”

Ghassemi also says that Dollar General provides local jobs and employee advancement and development.

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