QUOTE AND NEWS
guardian.co.uk  14 min ago  Comment 
The merger of discount stores shows how a a chase for low-income consumers lead bargain retailers to a dead-end What has happened to that great American archetype, the penny-pinching bargain shopper? She is becoming an endangered species....
Benzinga  3 hrs ago  Comment 
Below are the top discount, variety stores stocks on the NYSE in terms of earnings per share. The trailing-twelve-month earnings per share at Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) is $4.82. Wal-Mart's ROE for the same period is 26.70%. The...
New York Times  Jul 28  Comment 
As a percentage of revenue, the cost-savings in the merger are relatively low, says Kevin Allison of Reuters Breakingviews, and that may leave room for sector giant Dollar General to lob in a bid.
Benzinga  Jul 28  Comment 
Carl Icahn is not the only one to take profits on the Family Dollar (NYSE: FDO) and Dollar Tree (NASDAQ: DLTR) merger. Several sympathy stocks are in play, giving traders the opportunity to capitalize. Dollar General Dollar General (NYSE:...
TheStreet.com  Jul 28  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A lot of investors are going to be taking a second look at the low, low end of retailing today with Dollar Tree's announced acquisition of Family Dollar .  Smart investors will ignore the hype and put some more money...
TheStreet.com  Jul 28  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) --Shares of Dollar General Corp. are down by -2.10% to $54.44 in mid-morning trading on Monday as the discount retailer reacts negatively to the announcement Dollar Tree Inc. is purchasing Family Dollar Stores for $8.5...
Benzinga  Jul 28  Comment 
Argus Research initiated coverage on shares of Dollar General (NYSE: DG) with a Hold rating. Dollar General shares have surged 2.64% over the past 52 weeks, while the S&P 500 index has gained 17.39% in the same period. Dollar General's shares...
Reuters  Jul 28  Comment 
* Company to beat Dollar General as top N. America discount chain
The Hindu Business Line  Jul 26  Comment 
The Director General of Customs, Excise and Service Taxes, New Delhi Srikumar Menon met the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Lake View Guest House here today and discus...
Motley Fool  Jul 25  Comment 
Family Dollar reported a large drop in income, increasing pressure on the company for an acquisition or a merger.




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS

Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) is the largest discount retailer in the United States by number of stores.[1] Dollar General competes with other discount retailers, such as Family Dollar Stores (FDO) and Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR), as well as wholesale retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT). In fiscal 2010, DG posted net sales of $13 billion and net income of $627.9 million.

Discount retailers are poised to succeed during recessionary economic conditions, as consumers try to buy their everyday items at lower prices. Dollar stores struggle when operating costs increase, as such stores cannot raise prices of goods sold, and thus cannot pass costs on to consumers. The increased demand for discount retailers has exceeded costs of operations, which has lead to Dollar General to have double-digit net sales growth in each of its last two fiscal years.

Company Overview

Business Growth

Dollar General launched its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in November 2009, selling $34.1 million shares at $21 per share.[2]

Fiscal Year 2010 (ended January 28th, 2011)

  • DG posted net sales of $13 billion, a 10.5% increase compared to fiscal 2009.[1]
  • Net income increased 85% to $627.9 million.[1]

Business Segments

  • Consumables (71.6% of fiscal 2010 net sales)[1]
  • Seasonal (14.5%)
  • Home Products (7.0%)
  • Apparel (6.9%)

Geographic Presence

Dollar General operates only in the United States. The firm has 9,414 retail stores located in 35 states, with the top 10 states (by number of stores) listed below:

  • Texas (1,080 stores)
  • Georgia (541)
  • Alabama (512)
  • Florida (505)
  • Ohio (510)
  • North Carolina (536)
  • Tennessee (489)
  • Pennsylvania (421)
  • South Carolina (375)
  • Louisiana (369)

Trends and Forces

Discounters Experience Difficulty Passing on Cost Increases to Customers

Because Dollar General’s low-income customer base is highly sensitive to price and because the company competes largely with merchandise prices fixed to be under $2, input cost increases (such as inventory, overhead, and marketing) are difficult or impossible to pass on to consumers. Although the company has been able to raise some prices - changing an item that was 2 for $1 to 59 cents apiece, for example - the prices of the vast majority of its goods cannot be increased. Macroeconomic and company specific changes to cost structure, including higher freight costs, rising energy prices, and supplier or distributor consolidation increases the risk of large margin decreases that cannot be offset by price increases.

Stiff Competition and Low Competitive Advantages in a Mature and Saturated Market

Family Dollar competes against discounters with wider selection and significant cost and scale advantages in its local markets. A Family Dollar store operating within a few miles of a nearby Wal-Mart or Target, for instance, will struggle to compete on value and selection, and may instead gain customers via convenience and location. It also faces competition faces other “dollar stores,” that have similar or identical value propositions, such as Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR), Family Dollar Stores (FDO), and 99 Cents Only Stores (NDN). With low barriers to entry and few natural competitive advantages to gain, the industry has become flooded with dollar stores and collectively, these companies are approaching U.S. saturation. While Family Dollar has some competitive advantage in the southern US states, there is substantial risk of lower margins due to increased overhead expenses as well as stiff competition as other discounters pursue the same strategies.

Dollar General Thrives During Economic Crisis

Dollar General sells similar products as wholesale retailers Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT), but typically at lower prices. Because of this, during harsh economic conditions, many consumers may make the change of shopping at Dollar General instead of a regular wholesale retailer.

Competition

Off-Price Retailers

  • Dollar Tree Stores (DLTR) Dollar Tree operates 3,806 stores in the United States. The company sells all of its products for $1.[3]
  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO) Family Dollar offers similar products as DG and also sells all of them for $1.
  • 99 CENTS ONLY STORES (NDN) 99 CENTS ONLY STORES operates 275 stores in the United States. The company sells all of its products for 99 cents or less. Food and grocery sales account for more than half of the company's annual revenue.[4]

Wholesale Retailers

  • Wal-Mart (WMT) Wal-Mart sells brand-name products that DG sells, and at higher prices.
  • Target (TGT) Target sells brand-name products that DG sells, and at higher prices.
  • Costco Wholesale (COST) Costco offers similar products as DG, but in bulk quantities.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 DG 2010 10-k
  2. Reuters, "Dollar General IPO prices at low end," 11/12/2009
  3. DLTR 2009 10-K pg. 8
  4. NDN 2010 10-K pg. 3
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