Meet the typical Dollar General customer: An older rural worker with a high school education and an income of less than $40,000

Meet the typical Dollar General customer: An older rural worker with a high school education and an income of less than $40,000
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  • Dollar General has 19,147 stores across the US and Mexico and employs more than 163,000 people.
  • Roughly 40% of US shoppers are Dollar General customers, making an average of 32 visits per year.

Dollar General is one of the leading discount retailers in the US, and the 16th-largest retailer in the world, making sales of $37.8 billion in 2022.

The company was founded in 1939 as J.L. Turner and Son Wholesale. The first Dollar General store opened in 1955 in Springfield, Kentucky.

Dollar General, now based in Tennessee, has 19,147 stores across the US and Mexico, mostly concentrated in the Sunbelt and Midwest.

Roughly 40% of shoppers in the US buy from Dollar General, according to data from the analytics firm Numerator prepared for Insider.

Numerator found that Dollar General's typical shopper is an older worker with a high-school education who lives in a two-person household in a rural area and earns less than $40,000 per year. The typical shopper tends to be white, but the store is also popular with Black customers.


The company has relatively high customer loyalty — on par with Costco — and adds a new customer for each one that stops shopping with the brand.

The store aims to offer low prices on brand-name goods, with a smaller store format, and a particular focus on smaller markets with limited shopping alternatives. In its 2022 annual report, the company says its core customers are "low and fixed income households often underserved by other retailers."

The typical customer picks up an average of eight items per trip for a total cost of $19.99, and tends to visit 32 times per year for an annual expense of $641, Numerator found. Annual visits are up from 25 the year before, and the company says that rate is accelerating as high inflation draws shoppers to its stores.

About 2.3% of their overall spending takes place at Dollar General — behind other retailers including Walmart and Amazon, where they spend more.

Their favorite products to buy at Dollar General are candy, chips, and sodas, and they prefer brands like Coca-Cola, Reese's, and Lays.


More than three-quarters of Dollar General's revenue comes from consumables, like foods and drinks, although it makes a lower profit margin on those products. The rest of its sales come from apparel and home products, and its highest profits come from seasonal items.

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