Plans to open a new Dollar General store in East Dayton on the site of a former full-service grocery store face opposition from people who are concerned that type of store will fail to adequately serve that neighborhood.
The store would mark a milestone for Dayton, which now has 69 Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores within 10 miles of downtown.
A Tennessee developer wants to build a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General at 3129 E. Third St., which today is an empty lot. A grocery store on that site, Food For Less, was destroyed by fire in November 2017.
A new Dollar General would help the area because it is a food desert and the chain sells some packaged foods, said Nicole Adkins, executive director of With God’s Grace, an East Dayton mobile food pantry.
But Adkins says a dollar store could not replace a full-service grocery store. While some residents in the area say the proposal will bring back at least some offerings, other neighbors are still hoping a full-service store returns.
“Dollar General is not going to solve the problem in the east end for groceries,” said Lodia Furnas, president of the Burkhardt-Springfield Neighborhood Association.
Dollar stores often don’t have many fresh foods, but residents are likely to food shop there anyway because they are close by when residents don’t have cars and can’t easily get to full-service grocery stores, Furnas said.
Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores provide an affordable and convenient fill-in shopping option for their customers between their weekly or bi-weekly grocery store trips, said Kayleigh Painter, a Dollar Tree spokeswoman.
“Some of our customers are under-served in certain markets we operate in,” she said. “We open stores in markets where we can best serve our customers.”