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Dollar General Posts Strong Fourth Quarter, Readies Home Expansion

Dollar General’s home department is included among the company’s next phase of product expansion.

The True Living line of home products is launching across home décor, including kitchen and bath, according to Rick Dreiling, chairman and ceo.

When asked about early results from the resets in the home department, David Tehle, chief financial officer said, “We are on track as far as rolling the product out. We’re actually a little ahead of schedule. I’d like to have the first quarter under my belt before I actually talk about [results.]”

Dreiling and Tehle both spoke during last month’s quarterly earning conference call.

Net income for the fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 29, rose 6/5% totaled $87.2 million compared to $81.9 million in the prior year period.

Sales increased 11.9% to $3.19 billion. Same-store sales increased 7.4%, with customer traffic and average transaction both contributing to the increases. Sales were strongest in the consumables and seasonal categories.

“Dollar General had another outstanding year in 2009. We are continuing to execute on our operating priorities with precision and discipline,” Dreiling said. “We completed our second decade of consecutive annual same-store sales growth by providing our customers with value and convenience as we continue to improve our merchandise assortment and upgrade our in-store experience.”

For the year, the company opened 500 new stores, relocated 159 stores and remodeled 291 stores. Dollar General closed 34 stores, ending the year with 8,828 stores. In 2010, Dollar General plans to open approximately 600 new stores and to remodel or relocate 500. Dreiling noted that the new format would be “a dramatic improvement in the appearance of our stores” leading to a more “customer-centric” experience that will improve customers’ ability to shop.

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