In a move mirroring those of rival retailers Amazon.com (AMZN 1.42%) and Walmart (WMT -0.37%), Dollar General (DG 1.43%) announced on Monday morning it was looking to hire an additional 50,000 workers to meet heightened demand for essential items in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
While most retailers are outright shutting their doors in an effort to curb and avoid the contagion, companies that sell consumer goods like groceries, toiletries, and cleaning supplies have mostly remained open -- albeit with modified hours -- to keep consumers supplied with the basics. Dollar General's core business lines are those items which most state and federal governments have deemed too "essential" to mandate store closures.
Dollar General is well positioned
Dollar General operates 16,368 stores in the United States, and roughly three-fourths of the nation's population lives within five miles of one of its stores. The retailer has largely sought to build stores where its key competitors haven't, however. Most of its locales are found in towns with populations of less than 20,000, which haven't been attractively sized markets for Walmart.
Now that accessibility is paying off, so much so that the company needs to hire 50,000 more employees by the end of April to keep up with demand. For perspective, Dollar General currently employs about 143,000 people.
It's not alone
Other retailers have been forced to take similar actions, if only temporarily. Walmart announced last week it was looking to hire 150,000 short-term workers to help in all aspects of its operation. Amazon also said last week it needs another 100,000 employees in its warehouses to keep up with increased online shopping activity.