A decline in apparel sales in 2015 hasn’t slowed Dollar General’s roll.
The Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based discounter said Thursday that it plans to open around 900 new stores and relocate or remodel 875 locations in fiscal 2016, bringing its total store count to almost 13,500. The news followed the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year results, which saw net sales rise 7 percent to $5.29 billion in the 13 weeks ended Jan. 29 and by 7.7% to $20.4 billion for fiscal 2015.
Dollar General also reported that same-store sales grew for the 26th straight year, up 2.2% in the most recent quarter and a 2.8% increase for the full year. This growth was driven primarily by candy, snacks, tobacco and perishables, while a “modest decline” in apparel offset any increases achieved in non-consumable categories, such as seasonal and home.
With that being said, net income for the fourth quarter was $376,175 and diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $1.30. Full-year profit was $1.17 million and diluted EPS was $3.96.
“Considering the financial results we have delivered over the last three years and consistent with how we are managing the business, our growth model is focused on increasing long-term shareholder value by driving profitable sales growth, capturing growth opportunities, enhancing our position as a low-cost operator and investing in our people,” Todd Vasos, chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Looking ahead, Dollar General said it expects net sales to grow between 7 and 10 percent in fiscal 2016, in addition to a projected increase of 2 to 4 percent in same-store sales. To that end, operating profit for the year is anticipated to rise by as much as 7 to 11 percent, while diluted EPS is expected to be at the high end of a 10 to 15 percent growth range.
The retailer said it expects to spend between $550 million and $600 million on store openings, remodels and relocations in fiscal 2016. As of Jan. 29, Dollar General operated 12,483 stores.