- Dollar General plans to hire as many as 20,000 staffers, including drivers for its private truck fleet, according to a press release Wednesday.
- The retailer's private fleet has grown from 80 tractors at the end of fiscal 2017 to more than 700 tractors and more than 550 drivers this spring, according to the press release.
- Dollar General's hiring blitz follows plans to open more than 1,000 stores in 2021. COO Jeff Owen said recently that the company could add another 17,000 stores to its footprint in the long run, which would double its current total.
The brick-and-mortar doldrums, such as they are, have been happening far away from Dollar General, which has been building out at a furious pace with no end in sight. With the most recent hiring blitz, Dollar General makes clear it is serious about expanding on its strengths.
The dollar store chain was among those that thrived during the pandemic as an essential business allowed to stay open last spring, benefiting from consumers' tendency to consolidate trips even after discretionary stores reopened.
"Over the longer term, Dollar General's strategy is sound," GlobalData managing director Neil Saunders said in March comments. "Despite its enormous number of stores, it still has scope for more openings. It is expanding produce selections in some shops, to give it more of a destination status and make the experience more engaging."
With that, the company has contended with high carrier rates and fuel costs. That gave Dollar General the motivation to expand its private fleet, which accounted for more than 20% of outbound logistics at the end of last year. Now, it needs drivers.
But Dollar General's recruitment team is up against virtually every carrier. Inventory replenishment continues at high volumes, and load-to-truck ratios are growing across segments, which is exacerbating the need for drivers.
According to Coresight Research, store openings across retail are outpacing closures for the first time in years. And Dollar General accounts for nearly a third of the openings so far.