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Dive Brief:

  • Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos plans to retire from his role on Nov. 1 after roughly 14 years with the retailer, according to a press release issued Tuesday.
  • The discounter is tapping Chief Operations Officer Jeffery Owen to succeed Vasos as Dollar General’s chief on the latter’s retirement date and take on a board seat.
  • Vasos will stay on as a senior adviser through April 1 next year, when he is set to retire from the company. Dollar General expects Vasos to sign a two-year consulting agreement after retirement. 

Dive Insight:

Vasos joined the company in 2008 — back when Dollar General was under private equity firm KKR’s ownership — as a division president and chief merchandising officer. From there he would take over the COO role in 2013 before becoming CEO in 2015, succeeding Richard Dreiling who now serves as executive chairman of rival Dollar Tree Inc.

Since Vasos became CEO, Dollar General’s sales have increased by more than 80%, and its store count has expanded by roughly 7,000. Vasos also oversaw the retailer as it expanded its fresh and frozen foods offering, made its first international expansion (into Mexico), launched an entirely new concept store in Popshelf and built out its own private trucking fleet

The chief’s successor has seen the company grow even more. Owen started at Dollar General in 1992 as a store manager trainee in Nashville, Tennessee, when the company had just 1,500 stores (compared to 18,356 stores at last count). He served in numerous operations and leadership roles before taking over the COO slot in 2019.

Dollar General Chairman Michael Calbert called Owen a “strategic thinker, strong collaborator and proven leader known for his motivational leadership and deep knowledge of DG” and said the board expects Dollar General’s “strong trajectory” of the Vasos era to continue under Owen. 

Dollar General shows no signs of slowing its expansion across the country. The retailer plans to add another 1,110 stores this year. Owen said in early 2021 that the retailer thought there was room for it to build another 13,000 stores (that was roughly 1,000 stores ago).

As dollar stores cover the country, targeting often lower-income rural and urban areas, their expansion has faced pushback from local activists and governments who say the stores displace local grocers and retailers with rock-bottom pricing. Dollar General has also faced labor activism, with employees and advocates pushing for better compensation and working conditions. 

At Dollar General, Vasos’ planned retirement comes not long after a broad shuffling in the management ranks, with 11 people named to executive positions in May. Those include three new senior vice presidents overseeing the company’s real estate, private label and distribution departments, as well as eight new vice presidents to handle distribution, store operations, merchandising, human resources and information technology.



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