BONIFAY — Training Manager Jeff Brewer with Family Dollar Distributions Inc. was able to confirm that the mysterious outlet that the City of Bonifay approved zoning for will be a Family Dollar store during the Kiwanis Club of Bonifay’s May 8 meeting.
The new store coming to Bonifay is going to be located next to the Tom Thumb on State Road 79 near Memorial Park and has a tentative date to start construction in February of 2014.
“Once they get started they usually only take two to three months to finish and that’s from when they first start clearing to when the first register is opened for business,” said Brewer. “We got most of our customers in 2008 and we’re pushing to keep them. It’s been a challenge and it’s becoming more and more challenging but we’re determined to stay competitive.”
“We market for more urban areas generally,” said Brewer. “What we market is convenience. When you’re on your way home and don’t want to go all the way to Wal-Mart for milk we offer convenience.”
Brewer explained that both Family Dollar and the Dollar General experienced a “boom in business” due to the fall of the economy in 2008.
“It was revolutionary for dollar stores at that time because when the economy went down those who would usually go to Target and higher end stores couldn’t afford those expenses any more and the increase in business at the dollar stores skyrocketed,” said Brewer. “We still have a really big push at the moment for dollar stores. We just opened our eleventh distribution center in Utah, we’ve got over 7,788 stores in 48 states in the United States and a distribution center in Marianna.”
He explained that the Marianna distribution center is 9,700 square feet in size and operates with 90 forklifts, three shifts, and 400 people working 24 hours a day from Sunday evening to Friday evening every week.
“Wages start from $10 to $12,” said Brewer. “The work is hard but there’s room for advancement. I’ve enjoyed working there.”
He said the location was fundamental for developing a distribution center in that area.
“We try to reach the furthest we can in the shortest amount of time and Marianna was ideal for reaching the tip of Florida, to Dothan, to Bainbridge and to reaching our largest store in demand, which is in New Orleans in Louisiana. Amazingly that store has six registers and receives a whole trailer of merchandise each week where most only need a third.”
The biggest demand that they’re trying to satisfy at the moment, Brewer said, was for groceries.
“Food is a very competitive market and we’re trying to get you into those stores,” he said. “We actually eat the cost of food in the hopes of getting you into the store to purchase something else. We’re not making any money on our food distribution, but we think this is what it takes to get you in and keep you coming in.”