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Ceremonial ribbon cutting is Saturday followed by grand opening for shoppers on Dec. 16

PHIL HAWKINS - Dollar General, located on Douglas Avenue in Gervais, is set to open its doors to the public Dec. 16, a company spokeswoman said. The city said there will be a ribbon cutting at 8 a.m. this Saturday.
With Christmas just around the corner, the city of Gervais is set to receive an early gift in the form of a new Dollar General retail store scheduled to open in December.

Located at 415 E. Douglas Ave., the 9,000-square-foot site has been under construction for more than a year since Dollar General agreed to expand a new branch across from Highway 99E and the former Fiber Fab building in 2016.

"It is a big deal because it's the first big business to come into town," Gervais City Councilor Micky Wagner said. "It's making it so that we don't have to go all the way to Woodburn to do some of the basic shopping things that otherwise we would have to."

Wagner is one of several representatives from the city who will welcome the new store to the community at a ribbon cutting on location at 8 a.m. this Saturday. The store still has some final preparations to check off before its official grand opening, which is scheduled for 8 a.m. Dec. 16, according to company spokeswoman Angela Petkovic. The grand opening will feature $10 Dollar General gift cards to the first 50 adult shoppers and Dollar General tote bags with complimentary product samples to the first 200 shoppers, among other giveaways. Construction progress may alter the timing of the grand opening, Petkovic said.

The Gervais site is one of many new locations for the Tennessee-based company, which describes itself as a "small-box discount retailer." Dollar General has more than 14,000 stores in 44 states, including nearly 2,000 new locations added across the country in the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

The company has been aggressively expanding into Oregon in recent years, targeting small communities along the I-5 corridor that may not have access to larger retail stores. In the past year, Dollar General has opened new chains in Sweet Home, Drain, Creswell, Oakridge, Harrisburg, Philomath, Mill City and Jefferson. Additional locations in Aumsville, Dayton, Silverton, Independence and Estacada are also on the horizon.

"The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice," Petkovic said. "We know convenience is a major factor in our customers' shopping decisions as we generally serve customers within a three- to five-mile radius, or 10-minute drive."

Wagner is excited to see the retailer move into the community and has heard from a number of people who echo her enthusiasm.

"It's going to be nice to have that whole new community feel, like we're actually moving forward and moving bigger," Wagner said. "Being that we have a lot of people that don't drive, it's great that it's going to be within walking distance. I think a lot of people are really excited."

The retail store is not strictly a one-dollar outlet, featuring a variety of name-brand products from packaged and frozen food, apparel, home cleaning supplies, beauty products, housewares, seasonal items and more.

The store will employ six to 10 people.

Dollar General seeks to invest in the communities it serves through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation (DGLF), which awards grants each year to nonprofit organizations, schools and libraries within a 20-mile radius of a Dollar General store, Petkovic said.

"Since its inception in 1993, the DGLF has awarded more than $140 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than nine million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education," Petkovic said.

For more information about the DGLF and its programs, visit www.dgliteracy.com. For employment opportunities, go to www.dollargeneral.com/careers.

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