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Could Family Dollar closures affect Johnston County?

Company hasn’t identified stores set to close

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Parent company Dollar Tree plans to shutter up to 390 Family Dollar stores this year, according to its fourth-quarter report, and it’s unclear whether any of the six Johnston County locations could be on the chopping block.

Dollar Tree purchased the Family Dollar chain three years ago, and the report states sales have been disappointing.

There are two Family Dollar locations each in Smithfield and Selma and one store each in Clayton and Benson. Wilson and Goldsboro have seven Family Dollar stores in each town. In Harnett County, Dunn has one Family Dollar store.

“There are several incorrect media reports circling today.” Dollar Tree spokeswoman Kayleigh M. Painter told the Johnstonian News.

“The fiscal year 2019 Family Dollar real estate initiatives include 1,000 store renovations, 200 re-banners — Family Dollar stores to Dollar Tree — and closing as many as 390 Family Dollar stores,” Painter. “We also plan to open 550 new stores, 350 Dollar Tree and 200 Family Dollar. We have not shared a listing of stores that will, or may, close.”

As of Feb. 2, Painter said the company operated 7,001 Dollar Tree stores and 8,236 Family Dollar locations.

“The support of commercial entities such as Family Dollar are vital to every town in Johnston County,” said Johnston County Economic Development Director Chris Johnson “We are hopeful that the continued strong growth in our county will allow these stores to remain in operation and not effect their employees and our neighbors that call Johnston County home.”

Dollar Tree President and CEO Gary Philbin wrote in the fourth-quarter report that roughly 200 Family Dollar stores will be rebranded as Dollar Tree locations.

Dollar Tree plans to install adult beverages in 1,000 stores and expand freezers and coolers in 400 stores.