Family Dollar

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Family Dollar Stores, Inc.
Type Public
Traded as (NYSEFDO)
S&P 500 Component
Industry Retail
Founded 1959
Headquarters Matthews, North Carolina, U.S.
Number of locations 8,100+[1]
Key people Leon Levine, Founder
Howard R. Levine, Chairman and CEO
Products Food, clothing, housewares
Revenue Increase $10.4 billion (2013)
Operating income Increase $688 million (2013)
Net income Increase$443.6 million (2013)
Employees 50,000[1]
A Family Dollar store in Charlotte.

Family Dollar is a variety store chain in the United States. With 8,100 locations, it is the second largest retailer of its type in the United States. Family Dollar is headquartered in Matthews, North Carolina, where it employs 1,400 people.[2]

In June 2014, activist investor and major shareholder[3] Carl Icahn demanded that Family Dollar be immediately put up for sale.[4]


Family Dollar was founded in 1959 by Leon Levine, a 21-year-old entrepreneur. In November of that year, the company's first store was opened, in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1961, their first store in South Carolina opened, followed by stores in Georgia and Virginia, which were opened in 1962 and 1965, respectively. During the 1960s, the store company was largely a southern United States operation. By 1969, there were fifty stores in Charlotte alone.

The 1970s were growing years for the store chain. In 1970, Family Dollar's stock went public for the first time, at $14.50 per share. In 1971, the chain's 100th store opened, followed by their 200th in 1974 and their 300th in 1978. Also in 1974, a distribution center was opened in Matthews, North Carolina. In 1979, Family Dollar stock began trading at the New York Stock Exchange.

In 1981, the chain's 400th store was opened, followed by a 500th store in 1982 and a 700th in 1983. The 1980s saw expansion at a wider scale for the company, and, by 1989, 1,500 stores were operating.

The 1990s saw the pace of expansion slow down compared to the 1980s, with 1,000 stores opened. The company opened distribution centers in West Memphis, Arkansas; Front Royal, Virginia and Duncan, Oklahoma. Since 2000, the pace of growth increased significantly, with the addition of about 3,500 new stores, and new distribution centers opening in Morehead, Kentucky; Maquoketa, Iowa; Odessa, Texas; Marianna, Florida; and Rome, New York.

In 2001, Family Dollar joined the S&P 500 stock market index. In 2002, the company joined the Fortune 500 list of largest publicly held companies.

When Leon Levine retired in 2003, his son Howard R. Levine succeeded him as Chairman and CEO, keeping this multi-billion dollar company in the family.

In March 2005, Family Dollar restated the company's fiscal 2000 to fiscal 2004 earnings per share downward by 2 cents to 3 cents a year, to correct lease-accounting issues.[5]

As of August 2011 there were 7,000 stores in 44 states. According to their website, in 2005 Family Dollar opened 500 new stores, 350 more in 2006, and an additional 300 in 2007. According to the Company's 2013 Corporate Profile, in 2010 Family Dollar opened 200 new stores, 300 more in 2011, 475 in 2012, and an additional 500 in 2013. On October 3, 2012, Family Dollar said they will open 500 stores in 2013.[6] The next day, Family Dollar partnered with Healthways.[7] Family Dollar operates 11 distribution centers - the latest of which opened in St. George, Utah, on October 16, 2013.

Selling pressure[edit]

In March 2011, Family Dollar rejected a takeover offer by Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management reportedly between $55 and $60 a share.[8]

On June 6, 2014, activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed that his firm, Icahn Enterprises, held a 9.4% stake in Family Dollar.[3][9] On June 19, Icahn demanded in an open letter that Family Dollar be put up for sale immediately.[4][2] Goldman Sachs has identified a number of potential buyers.[10][11]

As of June 19, 2014, 22% of Family Dollar's shares are controlled by activist investors.[2]


External links[edit]