4701 Southwest Pkwy, Wichita Falls, TX 76310
Dollar General Corporation is an American chain of variety stores headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. As of April 11, 2022, Dollar General operates 18,216 stores in the continental United States.
The company began in 1939 as a family-owned business called J.L. Turner and Son in Scottsville, Kentucky, owned by James Luther Turner and Cal Turner. In 1955, the name changed to Dollar General Corporation and in 1968 the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Fortune 500 recognized Dollar General in 1999 and in 2020 reached #112. Dollar General has grown to become one of the most profitable stores in the rural United States with revenue reaching around $27 billion in 2019.
J.L. Turner and Son Building in Scottsville, Kentucky.
Dollar General has its origin in Scottsville, Kentucky, with James Luther “J.L.” Turner and his son Cal Turner. James Turner’s father died in an accident in 1902 when James was only 11. James had to quit school and never completed his education so he could work the family farm and help provide for his mother and siblings. After two unsuccessful attempts at retailing, James became a traveling dry goods salesman for a Nashville wholesale grocer. James left the sales job after 10 years and settled his family in Scottsville, Kentucky. During the Great Depression, he began buying and liquidating bankrupt general stores. James’ only child Cal Turner accompanied his father to these closeouts at a young age, gaining valuable business knowledge and skills.
In October 1939, James and Cal opened J.L. Turner and Son with an initial investment of $5,000 each. The switch to retailing resulted in annual sales above $2 million by the early 1950s. By the mid-1950s Turner had 35 department stores in Kentucky and Tennessee. In 1955, Cal Turner developed his idea of a retail store selling goods for a dollar, based on the Dollar Days promotions held at other department stores, by converting Turner’s Department Store in Springfield, Kentucky, into the first Dollar General Store. In 1964 J.L. Turner died leaving his son Cal Turner to succeed him.