Excited anticipation for Dollar General

CU students are excited for the new and convienent place to find cheap food, supplies, and beer. Photo by Olivia Maher. 

Castleton University students will soon have a new place in town to get essentials from laundry detergent to beer – all at a low price and a walk away.

Say hello to Dollar General, at 1499 Main Street.

A representative of Dollar General, Angela Petkovic, explained the rationale behind the new location.

“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. We also take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration,” she said.

The grand opening is slated for late fall of 2017, she said, but based on progress in recent days, it appears close.

Dollar General sells an array of items, Petkovic said, from quality name brands to private brand merchandise. You can find items like “health and beauty products, home cleaning supplies, housewares, stationery, seasonal items and basic clothing. Dollar General also sells an assortment of packaged foods, as well as some refrigerated foods and frozen foods,” she said.

And despite rumors around campus, at this time, the Dollar General at 111 N. Main St. in Fair Haven has no plans of closing, Petkovik said.

Castleton University students are looking forward to having a new store close by.

Tyler Arsenault tweeted about his excitement.

“Honestly can’t wait for the Dollar General to open,” he wrote.

Senior Karli McGinnis said she thinks the store will be good for both customers and the chain.

“It’s a very lucrative idea for this business to come to Castleton . . . I believe this community will greatly benefit from this store opening,” McGinnis said.

Most students agreed that the location is the main highlight.

“It will be way closer than going to Fair Haven or Rutland for things,” said junior, Michael Allard.

But Castleton has a rich history built upon the beauty and aesthetic of the Green Mountains. With small-town charm, some are worried the chain department store might diminish it the value of the town.

“My main concern when I heard about the Dollar General coming to Castleton was its proximity to the village itself. I was worried it might harm the integrity and image of the town. Since Castleton is this picturesque, Vermont village that has iconic architecture, knowing it’s more outside of town, it makes it more appealing to me,” said senior Ryder Hathaway.

John Rehlen, owner of the Village Store, Blue Cat Bistro, Castleton Pizza Place and Deli, Birdseye Diner and rental properties, said he is not necessarily worried about the new competition. He said he understands that there will be an “overlap in products” – but said he will wait to see what actions need to be taken in the future to protect his businesses.

“I’m not alarmed,” he said, adding that he will have to wait and see what impact it might have on his business.

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