Downtown Columbus will be getting a Family Dollar store this year, with it bringing to 20 the number of outlets in the local market, including Phenix City.
Construction has just begun on the 8,320-square-foot Family Dollar at 844 Veterans Parkway, with the store going up on a patch of land that once included a Kentucky Fried Chicken and, most recently, Hooks Fish & Chicken.
“It looks like that one is slated to open the second half of this year,” Bryn Winburn, Family Dollar public and media relations manager, said Tuesday.
Family Dollar, based in Matthews, N.C., is a subsidiary of Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree Inc., which completed its $10 billion acquisition of the North Carolina company last July. Family Dollar has more than 8,200 stores in 46 states. Combined, the two chains operate about 14,000 outlets in 48 states and Canada.
Winburn said Family Dollar plans to open 250 stores this year, including the newest one downtown.
“Each of our stores employs between 8 to 10 associates, and we look to hire from the communities we serve,” she said.
The 844 Veterans Parkway store is being constructed by Highland Asset Management Group, with an initial city building permit for the project of $735,904. RCMM Construction is listed as the contractor. The property is in the Uptown District.
The latest Family Dollar comes with the Columbus-Phenix City market absorbing a large number of the smaller discount chain stores in recent years. There are now 13 Family Dollar locations in Columbus and six in Phenix City, with seven Dollar Trees locally, only one of them across the Chattahoochee River in Alabama.
The third major player in the market, Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General, has 16 stores here, with 10 in Columbus and six in Phenix City. That includes one that held its grand opening two weeks ago at 7333 Lee Rd. 240.
The new Veterans Parkway store will be about two miles away from one at Phenix Plaza shopping center, just over the 13th Street bridge. It has been in that location several years.
There is big money to made in the smaller format discount sector, earnings reports show. For instance, the combined Dollar Tree and Family Dollar operation, in the first nine months of 2015, reported a gross profit of $3 billion on net sales of just over $10 billion.
Much of that cash is made through sales to those consumers looking to pinch a few dollars.
“Family Dollar serves low to middle income customers. We look for a minimum of 8,000 people in our trade area,” the retailer says in a frequently asked question link on its website. “Family Dollar’s trade areas typically range from a one-mile radius in densely populated urban areas to a 10-mile radius in rural towns.”
Dollar Tree is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Its shares were treading between $75 and $76 apiece Tuesday. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $60.31 to $84.22 per share.