A Dollar General store that aims to shed its rural discount image and appeal to urban consumers is coming to downtown Raleigh.
The Tennessee-based discount retailer announced recently that a new, smaller-format store concept will open in the Edison Lofts building at 131 E. Davie St. in early 2017.
The store, expected to be called DGX, comes on the heels of an announcement that a smaller “flexible-format” Target store will open on Hillsborough Street next October.
DGX will be about 3,400 square feet and will sell electronics, cleaning supplies, paper products, pet supplies and some groceries, including coffee and grab-and-go sandwiches, according to a news release. A conventional Dollar General store is about 7,200 square feet.
Despite its name Dollar General isn’t a true “dollar store.” It prices about a quarter of its products at $1 or less. But it also sells name-brand products above $1.
The retail company, which has more than 13,000 stores, has been in a growth spurt. Executives have said they plan to open 900 stores this year in 43 states, 80 of those are expected to be have the smaller store format.
Jack Kimball, leasing agent for the 20,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in the Edison Lofts, said DGX will join several stores, including a coffee shop with light fare and Raleighwood Provisions, a specialty retailer that sells North Carolina-themed gourmet foods and gifts.
Kimball said the new stores, as well as recently opened clothing store Art of Style on Hargett Street, represent a new era in downtown’s evolution, which will accommodate more retail.
“I just think the tipping point has been reached,” he said. “We’re starting to move away from restaurants and bars, although they still have an interest, but DGX is a primary example.”
Bill King, senior director of planning and development for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, said his group wasn’t involved in recruiting DGX. But it worked to attract Raleighwood Provisions, and was even able to provide the business a $5,000 upfit grant, he said.
Raleighwood Provisions is owned by Kim Hammer, a baker, and the owner of bar and coffee shop Bittersweet.
“We have needed more retail in downtown to make this a more livable and walkable environment,” King said in an email. “We are more focused, though, on providing support and recruitment of local retailers.”
Chris Cioffi: 919-829-4802, @ReporterCioffi