TONICA — Residents of a community as small as Tonica often have few options when it comes to shopping. They typically need to travel to a larger community, or hope the local convenience store has a solution.
Since the recent opening of a new Dollar General store, the citizens of Tonica will now be more likely to keep more of their shopping dollars within the village.
“When choosing store locations, meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority,” Dollar General public relations representative Mary Kathryn Colbert said in an email interview.
“The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice. We know convenience is a major factor in our customers’ shopping decisions as we generally serve customers within a three- to five-mile radius, or 10-minute drive,” Colbert said.
“We also take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration,” she said.
The presence of Dollar General has greatly expanded recently across the Illinois Valley, and if all of the company’s development plans succeed, there will be 19 locations throughout LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.
Nationally, 900 stores were opened in 2018, and 975 are expected to open in 2019. Seventy percent of Dollar Generals serve communities with populations less than 20,000.
“It’s great to have a local place to come and shop,” Tonica Grade School teacher Lauren Thomas said as she purchased a cart full of treats and other items to be enjoyed during her classroom’s end-of-year celebrations.
Dollar General sells a wide variety of quality, branded merchandise such as health and beauty products, office and school supplies, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal selections, outdoor items, movies, toys, party supplies, pet products, auto and hardware items, and basic clothing.
“We also sell an assortment of packaged foods, as well as some refrigerated foods and frozen foods,” Colbert said.
Shopping can also be done online by visiting www.dollargeneral.com, and if more than $25 is purchased, Dollar General offers free shipping. The website offers digital coupons, as well.
Along with offering customers everyday low prices and discounted merchandise, Dollar General stays involved with the communities it serves through support of their Dollar General Literacy Foundation. This program awards yearly grants to non-profit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store or distribution center.
Since its inception in 1993, the foundation has awarded more than $168 million in grants, which have helped more than 10 million people toward literacy or continued education.
For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com.
The Tonica Dollar General is located at 432 N. Shawandasee St., and its hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more information about this location, call 815-442-3444.