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Dollar General Gets OK in Charlestown

Charlestown — A Dollar General store should be open this year following the Planning Board’s unanimous approval of the site plan last week.

The 9,200-square-foot retail store will be constructed just off Main and Sullivan streets.

The board’s approval Tuesday included several conditions and waivers on such issues as property line buffers, drainage and landscaping, Town Administrator Dave Edkins said Wednesday.

The Charlestown store and one planned for Fairlee are among the 700 stores that Dollar General plans to build this year at an estimated cost ranging from $450 million to $500 million.

The company operates 11,132 stores in 40 states and is the largest of the three small-box dollar store chains with a market capitalization of $18.4 billion. (Market capitalization, or the total value of a company, is the sum of the number of outstanding shares of stock times the price per share.)

Dollar Tree is second with a market capitalization of $11 billion and Family Dollar is third at almost $7 billion.

By comparison, Wal-Mart has a market capitalization of almost $241 billion. The retail giant is moving to recapture some of the market share it has lost in recent years to dollar stores and is rolling out Walmart Express to compete.

Dollar General, which started in 1939, last week reported increased sales for 2013 of 9.2 percent, to $17.8 billion, compared with $16 billion for 2012.

Dollar General earnings per share were $3.17 down from earlier estimates of $3.22. Sales for 2014 are expected to be 8 percent to 9 percent higher than the previous year, last week’s report said.

The company’s stock was trading off its 52-week high of almost $63 last week in the range of $57 on an average volume of 3.8 million shares.

Dollar General operates stores in Windsor, Springfield, Vt., Newport, Randolph and North Haverhill in the Upper Valley. Dollar Tree has stores in West Lebanon and Claremont and seven others within a 50-mile radius. Family Dollar has stores in the Upper Valley in Lebanon, Claremont, Newport, Springfield, Vt., Bradford, Vt., and Randolph.

Valley News correspondent Patrick O’Grady contributed to this report.