Dollar stores and the opening of ever more dollar stores are becoming ubiquitous, but residents in Newborn are quite happy with their new Dollar General, which is the town's only pure retail store.
"This fills a void in Newborn," Mayor Roger Sheridan said Saturday. The store opened Christmas Eve but had its grand opening Saturday.
"This means a great deal to our town. We're approximately half way between Madison and Covington. People going to Madison or Covington would be going 25 or 30 miles round trip, spending $4 to $5 in gas. Now they can buy their items here instead."
Newton County resident Jimmie Mote is one of those customers choosing to make their extra shopping runs at the Dollar General instead of going to Covington.
"This is great. I've been here three or four times since it opened," said Mote, who mainly buys cleaning goods and paper products, and, of course, is a fan of the store's cheap prices and coupons.
The 9,100 square foot store has a wide range of products, including clothing, food, housewares, office supplies, seasonal gifts and toys.
Sheridan said the store has seen a good flow of traffic since it opened, and he expects it to lead to some more development in Newborn, which had 696 residents as of the 2010 Census.
"This is something we needed in this town. We have a service station, now we have a Dollar General. We're looking forward to a grocery store going in. The town is growing, Sheridan said.
He said a family grocery is planning to locate in the town but is waiting to get a state license to sell beer and wine.
Sheridan said Dollar General originally backed out of locating in Newborn but the town council spent two years convincing store officials to open in the town. For its part, the company did more landscaping than normal and built an aesthetically-pleasing store, Sheridan said.
Dollar stores have been proliferating during the down economy and they don't show any sign of slowing down as Dollar General announced Tuesday it plans to open 625 more stores in 2012. The company has more than 9,800 stores in 38 states, nearly doubling its store total in the past decade, according to Time's website, and it posted $13.04 billion in sales last year, according to the Boston Herald's website.