By Jon Springer
Source: Winsight Grocery Business

It never fails to boggle the mind to take in just how big and fast Dollar General has become.

The Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based discounter today operates more than 17,000 stores in 46 states. In units, that’s more than either McDonald’s or Starbucks, or 7-Eleven and Circle K, put together.

Dollar General is also building new stores faster than any of those guys. This fiscal year it plans 1,050 new units—that’s a pace of about four grand openings, every weekday, all year long. Assuming a historic pace of closures and a continued growth clip, the little yellow discounter will operate more units than the entire U.S. independent grocery industry in about four years. Tax revenue and jobs are other issues entirely, but this is where we are headed: In fact, Dollar General officials say they see the opportunity for another 17,000 stores ahead of it, essentially doubling in size.

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