Dollar General is the ubiquitous discount retailer founded in Kentucky 66 years ago. It started with a single location in Springfield, Ky. in 1955. The company has over 17,000 stores spanning 46 states. It's easy to find the chain in most of the country. Now, the company is based in Tennessee.
Currently, Dollar General Corporation trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "DG." In the first quarter of 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic started to impact the nation, Dollar General managed to outperform its rival Dollar Tree in sales.
Dollar General's history
Dollar General was a family-run business for about half a century. J.L. Turner dabbled in retail and other businesses. He and his only son Cal Turner each invested $5,000 to start J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale. The business gave way to retail, and the first Dollar General opened in Springfield, Ky. in 1955.
According to the company's website, by 1957, there were 29 Dollar General locations bringing in $5 million in annual sales. The original concept was to sell everyday items at no more than $1. Some of the company's products are still priced at $1 apiece.
When Dollar General first went public, its annual revenue was about $40 million. When Cal Turner, Jr., the third-generation leader of Dollar General, retired in 2002, the company had expanded to comprise over 6,000 store locations and about $6 billion in annual sales.
Who owns Dollar General?
Todd Vasos is the current CEO of Dollar General. John Garratt is the company’s executive vice-president and CFO. Jeffrey Owen is the chief operating officer.
Institutional investors control about 91.45 percent of the outstanding shares of Dollar General Corporation, according to CNN Business. The largest institutional shareholder is T. Rowe Price with a 7.51 percent stake. The second-largest institutional investor is The Vanguard Group, Inc. with 7.45 percent.
Other major institutional investors include Capital Research and Management, BlackRock Fund Advisors, and SSgA Funds Management.
Is Dollar General publicly traded?
Dollar General is a publicly-traded company on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "DG." The company went public for the first time in 1968 as Dollar General Corporation and remained on the public exchange until 2007.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, or KKR, a private equity firm, took the company private in March of 2007 just a month after the resignation of then-CEO David Perdue. The deal priced Dollar General at $22 per share, which resulted in a $6.9 billion buyout by KKR. During the five years prior to the acquisition, the share prices dropped in four out of five years.
In 2009, the company went public again and raised funds to help it expand and pay off debt. KKR retained a significant ownership stake, but in 2013, both KKR and Goldman Sachs closed out their positions in Dollar General and sold their remaining 4.2 million shares.
In fiscal 2020, Dollar General raked in $33.7 billion in net sales. Also through fiscal 2020, the company had seen 33 consecutive years of same-store sales growth.