Business Review My 2 Cents

Dollar General locations limit store hours due to being understaffed

Stephy Says πŸ’‹at 6:46 P.M. on a Wednesday night, my mother & I arrived at Dollar General in Boykins, VA to find the store doors were locked while the lights were still on. Several customers aside from my mother & I patiently waited for the store to reopen, assuming that the locked doors were temporary; particularly because there wasn’t a note posted on the door to let us know otherwise. However, what we did find on the door was store hours posted with timeframes of 8:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M daily. As seen in the picture above from the Google business listing, the closing time should have been 10:00 P.M, yet at 15 minutes until 7:00 P.M, customers were locked out.

Customers began getting out of their parked vehicles approaching one another to get answers about the status of the store, all while other customers continued to pull into the parking lot. The newcomers to our unplanned parking lot party followed suit & got out of their vehicles to ask us questions. None of us had any answers. 

Two cars were parked & empty, which we assumed were the employees. A particular flustered customer was determined to get to the bottom of the issue, & walked to the door & knocked. No one answered or responded. He took out his cell phone & called another DG location. After finishing his phone call, he turned to the waiting audience & said, “they said nobody wanted to come to work, so they closed.” 

One customer suggested to another customer that she should consider driving to another DG location, only for her to inform us that the Dollar General in Rich Square, NC was closed as well. 

Something as simple as a loaf of bread had to be involuntarily forfeited due to lack of staff. 

Due to lack of communication & lack of consideration, a phone call to the corporate office was made. To our surprise, the corporate office wasn’t aware of the early store closing & commented that the District Manager would be contacted. This made me curious as to just how many times local Dollar General locations have closed without permission or knowledge from their superiors. 

The frustration from customers tonight was not solely due to tonight’s fiasco, but rather the fact that this has been a recurring issue for quite some time. Imagine driving numerous miles & using gas only to arrive at Dollar General & find a handwritten note on the door saying, “We closed at 3” in black permanent marker. You did all of that work, just to find out you wasted your time. Well, at least there was a note that time, right?

Another customer stated that during a fairly recent experience, price tags & barcode prices were conflicting, & she was met with poor customer service when it was mentioned. This was yet another inconvenience & poor shopping experience for that customer.

There are times that there are no shopping bags, the cold box is broken, boxes are full, shelves are empty; all due to lack of staff.

In my personal experience, I’ve visited Dollar General’s in Franklin, Courtland, Boykins, & Wakefield to find that they closed way earlier than scheduled or expected, again due to being understaffed.

On the contrary, I have been told by a manager that when Dollar General actually has the workers, the corporate office will not allow them the necessary hours to get the work done. Supposedly, the refusal of increased store hours is due to customers not completing customer surveys that are located on the bottom of receipts. Basically, stores close early because corporate won’t let them stay open any longer, & it’s our own fault. 

Like many other businesses, Covid negatively affected their business, but the inconsistency of store hours & the lack of posted notices regarding changes inconveniences customers & may cause loss of business. 

Employees are not to blame, including managers, because there are only so many hours the body will allow one individual to work. I’m not judging. Trust me, I’ve personally spent enough money in DG during the hours their doors are open to own a franchise.

Hopefully, if enough phone calls & complaints are called into the corporate office, they will provide their staff with adequate staffing & hours. If you decide to contact them, have the store location or store number readily available. 

Contact Dollar General Corporate Headquarters at 1-615-855-4000 to report complaints or grievances..