Friday, December 14, 2012

Discount store to open in Bellevue

Nationwide retailer Family Dollar has 7,200 stores

Express Staff Writer

A Family Dollar store under construction on North Main Street in Bellevue is scheduled to open by the end of February. Photo by Roland Lane

Bellevue city leaders are hoping that a new Family Dollar store, scheduled to open early next year on Main Street in Bellevue, will provide some competitive shopping opportunities for valley residents.

“I think it will bring something to the valley that we don’t have, and maybe stop some of these people from going to Twin Falls to shop,” Councilman Larry Plott said this week.

While running for election two years ago, Plott said a Home Depot store would be good for the city, yet the Family Dollar store came as a welcome surprise.

“I learned about it when they started clearing the lot,” Plott said.

Construction on the store began in October.

Mayor Chris Koch said he had a discussion with the Planning and Zoning Commission about the possibility of permitting the 8,000-square-foot one-stop-shopping store about a year ago. 

“I hope it will bring some retail activity,” Koch said in an interview.

Bryn Winburn, public relations manager for Family Dollar stores, said the company opened 475 new stores in the U.S. in 2012 alone. The company now employs more than 50,000 people at 7,200 stores nationwide, including at a recently opened store in Arco, she said. 

The Family Dollar store on North Main Street in Bellevue, next to Atkinsons’ Market, will offer a wide variety of items, including hardware, clothing, toys and food, Winburn said. She said the target customer is a 40-year-old mother who wants to do all of her shopping in one store. She said eight to 10 jobs would be filled at the store from the Bellevue area.

“We’re in a multi-million-dollar expansion of stores to include an expanded assortment of frozen foods,” she said. “Our food selection increased over the last two years by 30 percent.”

Winburn said that because Family Dollar has great relationships with many large producers, the company can offer merchandise at prices typically below those of supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores. 

“Because of that buying power, most items are $10 or less,” she said.

Family Dollar stores went public in 1970. In 2008, the company had $8.5 billion in sales with more than $388 million in earnings in 2011.

Tony Evans:

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