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Company > Dollar General: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Dollar General: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 31, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model of Dollar General, a prominent retail chain in the United States. We will explore the key strategies and practices that have contributed to its success in the highly competitive retail industry. Additionally, we will conduct a SWOT analysis to assess the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Furthermore, we will identify and analyze Dollar General's main competitors in 2023, highlighting the challenges it faces in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Dollar General and the significance of its ownership in shaping the company's direction and strategy.
    • The mission statement of Dollar General and how it drives the company's goals and objectives.
    • The various sources of revenue for Dollar General and how it successfully generates profits.
    • An in-depth explanation of Dollar General's Business Model Canvas, highlighting its key components and how they contribute to the company's success.
    • The major competitors of Dollar General and the challenges they pose in the retail industry.
    • An insightful SWOT analysis of Dollar General, examining its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market.

    Who owns Dollar General?

    Ownership Structure of Dollar General

    Dollar General, one of the largest discount retailers in the United States, has a well-defined ownership structure. The company is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "DG." This means that ownership of Dollar General is spread among numerous individual and institutional investors who own shares of the company.

    Majority Shareholders

    As of [current year], the largest shareholders of Dollar General are institutional investors. These institutions include mutual funds, pension funds, and other investment firms. The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street Corporation are among the top institutional shareholders of Dollar General.

    Executive Officers and Directors

    Apart from institutional investors, Dollar General's ownership also includes its executive officers and board of directors. These individuals, who are responsible for steering the company's strategic direction, hold a significant number of shares in the company. Notably, Todd Vasos, the CEO of Dollar General, holds a substantial ownership stake in the company, aligning his interests with those of other shareholders.

    Individual Shareholders

    Furthermore, Dollar General's ownership extends to individual shareholders who have purchased shares in the company. These individuals can include both retail investors and employees who participate in the company's employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Through ESOP, Dollar General provides an opportunity for its employees to become shareholders, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty among its workforce.


    In conclusion, the ownership of Dollar General is diverse and widespread, with institutional investors, executive officers, directors, and individual shareholders all owning shares in the company. This diverse ownership structure ensures that Dollar General's decision-making is influenced by a variety of perspectives, promoting transparency and accountability within the organization.

    What is the mission statement of Dollar General?

    The Mission Statement: "Serving Others"

    Dollar General, a leading discount retailer, has a clear and concise mission statement that encapsulates its purpose and goals. The mission statement of Dollar General is "Serving Others." This simple yet powerful statement reflects the company's commitment to providing value to its customers and serving the communities in which it operates.

    At the core of Dollar General's mission is the belief that by serving others, they can make a positive impact on people's lives. This mission extends beyond just offering affordable products; it encompasses a broader vision of meeting the needs of customers while fostering a sense of belonging and community.

    Dollar General strives to fulfill its mission by offering a wide range of quality products at everyday low prices. By providing affordable options, the company aims to make essential goods accessible to all customers, regardless of their economic status. This commitment to affordability aligns with the mission statement's focus on serving others and ensuring that everyone can benefit from Dollar General's offerings.

    Beyond its commitment to customers, Dollar General's mission also emphasizes serving the communities it operates in. The company actively engages in philanthropic efforts and supports various causes, such as literacy and education initiatives. Dollar General's commitment to community service is evident through its Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which has helped countless individuals improve their literacy skills and gain access to educational resources.

    In summary, Dollar General's mission statement, "Serving Others," encapsulates the company's dedication to providing value to its customers and making a positive impact on the communities it serves. By offering affordable products and engaging in philanthropic efforts, Dollar General strives to fulfill its mission and create a sense of belonging for its customers and communities alike.

    How does Dollar General make money?

    Sales of merchandise

    The primary source of revenue for Dollar General is the sale of merchandise. The company operates a wide range of stores that offer a variety of low-priced products, including household essentials, food and beverages, cleaning supplies, health and beauty products, and seasonal items. Dollar General's business model focuses on providing value and convenience to customers, with most products priced at $10 or less.

    The company offers a carefully curated assortment of merchandise that appeals to its target market, which is predominantly low-income and budget-conscious consumers. By leveraging its strong relationships with suppliers and implementing efficient inventory management practices, Dollar General is able to offer a wide range of products at attractive price points, allowing it to generate significant sales volume.

    Private label brands

    Another key revenue stream for Dollar General comes from its private label brands. These are products that are manufactured specifically for Dollar General and sold under its own brand names, such as DG Home, DG Baby, and DG Health. Private label products typically offer higher profit margins compared to national brands, as Dollar General has more control over pricing and sourcing.

    Dollar General invests in product development and quality control to ensure that its private label brands offer good value and meet customer expectations. The company's strong brand recognition and customer loyalty enable it to drive sales of its private label products, contributing to its overall profitability.

    Store expansion

    Dollar General's growth strategy also plays a significant role in its revenue generation. The company continues to expand its store footprint across the United States, opening new locations in both rural and urban areas. By targeting underserved communities and strategically placing its stores in convenient locations, Dollar General is able to attract a large customer base.

    The expansion of its store network allows Dollar General to increase its market share and capture new customers. With each new store, the company has the opportunity to generate additional sales and drive revenue growth.

    Additional revenue streams

    In addition to its core retail operations, Dollar General generates revenue from other sources. The company offers a range of financial services, such as prepaid debit cards, money orders, and check cashing services. These services provide convenience to customers and generate additional income through fees and commissions.

    Dollar General also earns revenue through leases and rental income. The company owns a significant number of its store locations and leases them to third-party tenants, generating rental income. Furthermore, Dollar General leases space within its stores to other businesses, such as pharmacies or beauty salons, creating additional revenue streams.

    Overall, Dollar General's revenue is derived from the sales of merchandise, private label brands, store expansion, and additional revenue streams such as financial services and rental income. Through its strategic focus on value, convenience, and expansion, Dollar General has been able to consistently generate revenue and drive profitability.

    Dollar General Business Model Canvas Explained

    Introduction to the Dollar General Business Model

    Dollar General is a well-known American chain of variety stores that offers a wide range of products at affordable prices. Understanding the business model behind Dollar General's success can provide valuable insights into the company's strategies and operations. In this section, we will delve into the key components of Dollar General's Business Model Canvas and explain how each element contributes to its overall success.

    Key Partnerships

    Dollar General's success can be attributed, in part, to its strategic partnerships. The company works closely with various manufacturers and suppliers to ensure a consistent supply of low-cost products. By establishing strong relationships with these partners, Dollar General can negotiate favorable pricing, which allows them to offer competitive prices to their customers. Additionally, the company collaborates with local communities and nonprofits to support their initiatives and give back to the neighborhoods they serve.

    Key Activities

    One of Dollar General's key activities is its extensive network of stores. With thousands of locations across the United States, Dollar General ensures that its stores are conveniently accessible to customers in both rural and urban areas. The company focuses on maintaining a well-organized and efficient supply chain to ensure the availability of products and minimize out-of-stock situations. Dollar General also invests heavily in marketing and advertising to create brand awareness and attract customers.

    Key Resources

    Dollar General's key resources include its vast store network, which serves as a physical presence for customers to shop conveniently. Additionally, the company relies on its strong brand reputation and customer loyalty to drive repeat business. Dollar General also leverages technology and data analytics to optimize its operations, inventory management, and customer experience. Moreover, the company's knowledgeable and dedicated employees are crucial resources in delivering excellent customer service and maintaining store operations.

    Value Proposition

    Dollar General's value proposition lies in its ability to offer a wide range of products at affordable prices. By focusing on providing basic necessities, household items, and low-cost alternatives, Dollar General caters to customers who prioritize budget-friendly shopping. This value proposition resonates with price-conscious consumers, including low-income households and budget-conscious shoppers, who find Dollar General a convenient and affordable shopping destination.

    Customer Segments

    Dollar General primarily targets customers in rural and underserved areas where access to affordable retail options may be limited. The company also attracts customers who seek value for their money and are willing to compromise on brand recognition or product assortment. By understanding the needs and preferences of these customer segments, Dollar General can tailor its offerings and marketing strategies accordingly, ensuring maximum customer satisfaction.


    Dollar General utilizes a multi-channel approach to reach its customer base. Its primary channel is its physical stores, which are strategically located and easily accessible. The company also operates an e-commerce platform that allows customers to shop online and have products delivered to their doorstep. Additionally, Dollar General utilizes various marketing channels, including digital advertising, flyers, and promotional campaigns, to create awareness and drive foot traffic to its stores.

    Revenue Streams

    Dollar General generates revenue primarily through the sale of products at its physical stores and online platforms. The company's low-cost pricing strategy, combined with high sales volume, enables it to achieve profitability. Additionally, Dollar General offers various private label products, which typically yield higher profit margins. The company also generates revenue through partnerships and collaborations with other brands and organizations.


    By analyzing the key components of Dollar General's Business Model Canvas, it becomes evident that the company's success hinges on its ability to offer affordable products in conveniently located stores while maintaining strong partnerships and leveraging technology. Dollar General's value proposition, targeted customer segments, and multi-channel approach contribute to its continued growth and profitability in the highly competitive retail industry.

    Which companies are the competitors of Dollar General?


    Dollar General, a leading American discount retailer, faces tough competition in the retail industry. With its wide range of products at affordable prices, Dollar General attracts a diverse customer base. However, several companies are vying for the same market share and targeting similar customer segments. Let's take a closer look at some of the key competitors of Dollar General.


    As one of the largest retail chains in the world, Walmart poses a significant competition to Dollar General. With its extensive product offerings, ranging from groceries to electronics, Walmart attracts a broad customer base. Walmart's everyday low prices and vast network of stores make it a formidable opponent for Dollar General.

    Family Dollar

    Family Dollar, a subsidiary of Dollar Tree, is another key competitor of Dollar General. Both companies operate in the same discount retail space, offering a range of products at affordable prices. Family Dollar focuses on serving low- to middle-income customers, similar to Dollar General, and has a strong presence in rural and urban areas.

    Dollar Tree

    While Dollar Tree operates under a different business model, its focus on offering products priced at $1 or less still puts it in direct competition with Dollar General. Dollar Tree's smaller store format and fixed price point strategy attract bargain-seeking customers who may also consider shopping at Dollar General.


    Aldi, a popular German discount supermarket chain, competes with Dollar General primarily in the grocery segment. Known for its no-frills approach and private label products, Aldi offers competitive prices on a variety of grocery items. With its growing presence in the United States, Aldi poses a threat to Dollar General's grocery sales.

    Dollar Stores and Convenience Stores

    Apart from the aforementioned competitors, Dollar General also faces competition from other dollar store chains such as Dollar Tree's subsidiary, Deals, and 99 Cents Only Stores. These companies offer similar product assortments at low prices, attracting price-conscious customers who may consider shopping at Dollar General. Additionally, convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Circle K also compete with Dollar General, especially in terms of quick and convenient purchases.


    Dollar General operates in a highly competitive retail landscape, with several companies vying for the same customer segments. The competition primarily comes from retail giants like Walmart, as well as discount store chains like Family Dollar and Dollar Tree. Additionally, Aldi's presence in the grocery segment poses a threat to Dollar General's market share. As the retail industry evolves, Dollar General must continue to adapt and differentiate itself to stay ahead of its competitors and retain its customer base.

    Dollar General SWOT Analysis


    • Wide range of merchandise: Dollar General offers a diverse range of products, including groceries, household items, apparel, and beauty products. This allows the company to cater to a wide customer base and attract various demographics.
    • Cost-effective pricing: Dollar General is known for its low prices, which appeals to budget-conscious consumers. The company's ability to offer affordable products allows it to compete with larger retail chains.
    • Convenient store locations: Dollar General has an extensive network of stores across the United States, with over 16,000 locations. This wide presence ensures accessibility and convenience for customers in both rural and urban areas.
    • Strong brand recognition: Dollar General has built a strong brand reputation over the years. The company is well-known for its value proposition and has become a trusted destination for customers seeking affordable products.


    • Limited product selection: While Dollar General offers a wide range of merchandise, the depth of products within each category may be limited. This can be a disadvantage as customers may find it difficult to find specific items or variations of products.
    • Limited international presence: Dollar General primarily operates within the United States, which limits its potential for international growth. This narrow focus leaves the company vulnerable to fluctuations in the US economy.
    • Dependence on low-income customers: Dollar General's business model heavily relies on low-income customers who prioritize affordability. This dependence on a specific customer segment could expose the company to economic downturns that impact the purchasing power of these customers.


    • Expansion into urban markets: Dollar General has historically focused on rural markets, but there is an opportunity for the company to expand its footprint in urban areas. Targeting urban customers could attract a new customer base and drive growth.
    • E-commerce growth: The rise of e-commerce presents an opportunity for Dollar General to expand its online presence and reach a broader customer base. Investing in e-commerce capabilities and online marketing strategies could drive sales and increase market share.
    • Private label expansion: Dollar General has a strong private label program, offering affordable alternatives to national brands. Expanding the assortment and quality of private label products could further differentiate the company from competitors and increase customer loyalty.


    • Competition from larger retailers: Dollar General faces intense competition from larger retail chains like Walmart and Target. These competitors have greater resources and may be able to offer lower prices or a wider selection of products, posing a threat to Dollar General's market share.
    • Economic downturns: Dollar General's business model heavily relies on price-sensitive customers. During economic downturns, consumers may cut back on discretionary spending, impacting the company's sales and profitability.
    • Regulatory challenges: Changes in regulations, such as minimum wage increases or changes in labor laws, could impact Dollar General's cost structure and profitability. Adapting to evolving regulations and compliance requirements may pose challenges for the company.

    Key Takeaways

    • Dollar General is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by shareholders who hold its stock.
    • The mission statement of Dollar General is to serve others by providing quality products at affordable prices in convenient locations.
    • Dollar General primarily makes money by selling a wide range of merchandise, including household essentials, food, and beauty products, at competitive prices.
    • The Dollar General Business Model Canvas includes key elements such as customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partners, and cost structure.
    • Competitors of Dollar General include other discount retailers such as Walmart, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree.
    • A SWOT analysis of Dollar General reveals its strengths as a strong brand and extensive store network, weaknesses such as limited product variety, opportunities in expanding e-commerce and international markets, and threats from intense competition and changing consumer preferences.


    In conclusion, Dollar General is a well-known retail company that has a significant presence in the United States. While the ownership of the company is shared among various shareholders, the largest portion is held by institutional and mutual fund owners.

    The mission statement of Dollar General is to serve others by providing quality products at affordable prices, through convenient and accessible locations. This mission is reflected in their business model, as they strive to offer a wide range of merchandise, including household essentials, food, and beauty products, to cater to the needs of their customers.

    Dollar General primarily generates revenue through the sale of their products in their physical stores. Their business model focuses on targeting rural and low-income areas, where they establish small, convenient, and easily accessible stores. Additionally, they constantly analyze consumer trends and preferences to ensure they stock the right products that their customers are looking for.

    In terms of competition, Dollar General faces strong rivalry from other discount retailers such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Walmart. These companies also target similar customer segments and offer competitive pricing strategies to attract customers.

    Conducting a SWOT analysis of Dollar General reveals both strengths and weaknesses. Their strong brand presence, extensive store network, and efficient supply chain contribute to their success. However, challenges such as increasing competition, potential saturation in certain markets, and dependence on suppliers for inventory pose threats to their growth. Nevertheless, Dollar General has opportunities to expand their e-commerce presence and further tap into the growing market of online shoppers.

    Overall, Dollar General has established itself as a leading retail company in the United States, offering affordable products to a wide range of customers. With their strategic business model, focus on customer satisfaction, and continuous adaptation to changing market dynamics, they continue to thrive in a highly competitive industry.


    What are the weaknesses of Dollar General?

    Some potential weaknesses of Dollar General include:

    1. Limited product variety: Dollar General primarily focuses on offering low-cost and essential items, which can result in limited options and choices for customers. This might lead to customers seeking more specialized or unique products elsewhere.

    2. Limited fresh produce: Dollar General stores typically have a limited selection of fresh produce, as their business model is centered around non-perishable items. This may discourage health-conscious shoppers who prefer a wider range of fresh and organic options.

    3. Store locations: While Dollar General has a wide store network, many of their locations are in rural or low-income areas. This can limit their customer base and potential for growth in more affluent or urban markets.

    4. Competitive pricing: Dollar General faces intense competition from other discount retailers like Walmart, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree. This can make it challenging for Dollar General to maintain its pricing advantage and differentiate itself from competitors.

    5. Negative reputation: Some critics argue that Dollar General pays low wages, offers limited benefits, and has faced legal challenges related to labor practices. Such negative publicity may impact the company's brand image and customer perception.

    6. Dependence on economic conditions: Dollar General's success is often tied to the economic conditions of its target market. During economic downturns, consumers may opt for cheaper alternatives, which could benefit Dollar General. However, during economic upturns, consumers may have more disposable income and choose to shop at higher-end stores.

    7. Dependence on low-income customers: Dollar General largely relies on customers with lower incomes. Any adverse economic conditions or changes in customer spending patterns within this demographic could have a significant impact on the company's financial performance.

    It is important to note that weaknesses can vary over time and may be addressed or mitigated by the company through strategic actions.

    What is the pest analysis of Dollar General?

    A PEST analysis of Dollar General would examine the political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological factors that could impact the company. Here is a breakdown of each factor:

    1. Political:
    • Government regulations and policies regarding retail operations and labor practices.
    • Taxation policies and changes that could affect the profitability of the company.
    • Political stability and potential changes in government that could impact the business environment.
    1. Economic:
    • Economic conditions, such as GDP growth, inflation rates, and unemployment levels, that may influence consumer spending power.
    • Changes in disposable income and consumer behavior during periods of economic downturn or recovery.
    • Exchange rates and international economic factors that could impact the company's operations and supply chain.
    1. Socio-cultural:
    • Demographic trends, such as population growth, aging population, and urbanization, that may affect the demand for Dollar General's products.
    • Consumer preferences and buying patterns, including the increasing demand for convenience and value.
    • Social factors like health and wellness trends, sustainability concerns, and ethical consumption that could influence consumer choices.
    1. Technological:
    • Advancements in e-commerce and digital technologies that may impact Dollar General's online presence and competition.
    • Automation and artificial intelligence that could affect the company's operations and supply chain efficiency.
    • Data privacy and cybersecurity concerns in an increasingly digital world.

    By analyzing these factors, Dollar General can gain insights into potential opportunities and threats in the external environment, enabling the company to make informed strategic decisions.

    What is Dollar General competitive advantage?

    Dollar General's competitive advantage lies in its ability to offer a wide range of products at affordable prices, making it a convenient and cost-effective shopping destination for customers. Some key factors contributing to Dollar General's competitive advantage include:

    1. Everyday low prices: Dollar General focuses on offering products at low prices, often lower than traditional retailers. It achieves this through efficient procurement, effective cost management, and economies of scale.

    2. Convenient store locations: Dollar General has a vast network of stores located in rural and suburban areas, providing easy access for customers. This convenience factor allows customers to quickly find what they need without traveling long distances.

    3. Wide product assortment: Dollar General offers a broad range of products, including groceries, household essentials, health and beauty products, clothing, and seasonal items. This wide assortment caters to various customer needs and preferences, enabling one-stop shopping for many customers.

    4. Private label brands: Dollar General offers a range of private label brands, which are often priced lower than national brands. These private label products allow the company to have better control over pricing, quality, and margins.

    5. Efficient store operations: Dollar General operates with a lean and efficient store model, ensuring cost-effective operations. Stores are typically smaller in size, requiring less space and lower operating costs compared to larger retailers.

    6. Strong supply chain management: Dollar General has a well-established supply chain management system that allows for efficient sourcing, distribution, and inventory management. This enables the company to maintain product availability and minimize costs.

    Overall, Dollar General's competitive advantage lies in its ability to deliver value to customers through affordable prices, convenience, and a wide range of products.

    What is SWOT analysis in general?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of an individual, organization, or project. It involves identifying and analyzing the internal and external factors that can impact the success or failure of a particular endeavor.

    • Strengths: These are the positive aspects within the entity that provide a competitive advantage or unique selling proposition. It could include factors such as a strong brand, skilled workforce, advanced technology, or financial resources.

    • Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that hinder the entity's performance or put it at a disadvantage compared to others. Weaknesses can be in areas such as lack of expertise, poor infrastructure, limited resources, or inefficient processes.

    • Opportunities: These are external factors that have the potential to benefit the entity or create new avenues for growth and development. Opportunities can arise from market trends, technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, or emerging markets.

    • Threats: These are external factors that may pose risks or challenges to the entity's success. Threats can come from competitors, economic downturns, regulatory changes, technological disruptions, or any other factor that may negatively impact the entity's performance.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis, individuals, organizations, or projects can gain a comprehensive understanding of their current situation and make informed decisions regarding future strategies. It helps in identifying areas of improvement, capitalizing on strengths, minimizing weaknesses, exploiting opportunities, and mitigating threats.

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