Family Dollar closing 30 Carolinas stores; none in Charlotte

Charlotte Observer (NC) |

June 30--As part of its restructuring plan, Matthews-based Family Dollar is closing 30 stores across the Carolinas -- but none in Charlotte.

The nearest store closing is in Concord, on Concord Parkway South. Family Dollar spokeswoman Bryn Winburn said the company is closing 19 stores in North Carolina and 11 in South Carolina. Winburn declined to provide a full list of the stores being closed.

In April, Family Dollar said that it would close 370 under-performing stores nationwide, as sales and profits fell. The discount retailer also said it would lower prices on 1,000 items in an attempt to lure shoppers back. Family Dollar, whose president departed unexpectedly in January, has struggled to keep up with its rivals, especially larger Dollar General.

Family Dollar's challenges have mounted recently. Prominent activist investor Carl Icahn, a longtime corporate fighter, bought a 9.4 percent stake in the company. He demanded that the company be sold immediately and said he will move to fire and replace the entire board if he doesn't get his way.

Analysts have speculated that Family Dollar could be purchased by a private equity firm or by a rival such as Dollar General. But a Dollar General takeover has been seen as increasingly unlikely, especially in the wake of Dollar General CEO Rick Dreiling's announcement last week that he plans to retire next year.

Nineteen North Carolina and 11 South Carolina stores represents about 5 percent of Family Dollar's stores in the two states. The company operates 411 stores in North Carolina and 222 in South Carolina, according to its most recent annual report.

Nationwide, Family Dollar operated 8,100 stores before it began its most recent round of closures. The company has grown rapidly in the past several years, expanding from 6,655 stores at the end of fiscal 2009.

Family Dollar's stock fell 1 percent Monday, to $66.14 a share.

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