- Dollar General says it plans to hire 7,000 managers this year to help fuel its ambitious growth plans. The discount retailer plans to add 900 new stores this year, and currently operates more than 15,000 locations. It employs close to 130,000 workers.
- During the next 10 days, the company hopes to fill positions in all 44 states where it operates. Open positions include regional and district manager roles, as well as supervisor and assistant director positions at the company’s distribution centers.
- The company reported a 33% increase in earnings and a 2.1% gain in comparable store sales for the most recent financial quarter. “It’s an exciting time to join Dollar General as we seek qualified candidates to support our tremendous growth,” Bob Ravener, Dollar General’s executive vice president and chief people officer, said in a statement.
Dollar General has made a lot of hires in recent years — 50,000 employees in the past decade, to be exact. So bringing in and onboarding a lot of employees is nothing new for the company.
But with a shallow talent pool across the U.S. and competitors fighting hard to gain and retain workers, this latest push could be tough for Dollar General. Unemployment currently sits at 3.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — the first time that metric has fallen below 4% in nearly 20 years. And for the first time ever, the number of open jobs in the U.S. outnumbers the unemployed.
Retailers are working hard to secure quality talent. Target just raised its starting pay to $12 an hour and plans to bump that up to $15 by 2020. Walmart increased hourly pay to $11 and announced a tuition-assistance plan, while Kroger yesterday said it, too, will cover a portion of employees’ college costs.
For its part, Dollar General hasn’t made any major announcement around employee benefits. On a Glassdoor page where workers can comment anonymously on company benefits, many claim the discount retailer’s benefits are too expensive for employees, which could challenge Dollar General’s hiring ambitions.
At the same time, workers will likely be drawn to the familiar brand and its growth message. Also, many Dollar General stores and warehouses are located away from population centers, where labor competition is especially intense.
This hiring blitz underscores just how popular Dollar General’s offering is with consumers right now. In addition to its legacy low prices, it’s adding enhanced stores with more perishables — including produce in some locations. It’s also adding more snacks, highlighted by a new health-focused private label line, Good & Smart, and began testing a new checkout app in 10 stores.
All of this points to the increasing threat Dollar General poses to grocery operators — particularly small community grocers, which can lose as much as 30% of their sales to the discount company, research shows. Dollar General plans to continue its retail disruption, fueled by a growing corps of managers.