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GOODLETTSVILLE, TN-Dollar General Corp. will open a minimum of 800 new stores next year, in addition to 30 Dollar General Markets, some of which will be conversions from traditional stores. The expansion plans were disclosed during the chain’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

“We plan to increase our rate of new store growth,” said Dollar General chairman and CEO David Perdueduring the earnings call, adding that the new store expansion represents an square-footage increase of 10%. “We remainconfident in our small box model.” The company plans $330 million to $350 million in capital expenditures for 2006.

At the end of October, Dollar General operated 7,821 stores including 38 Dollar General Markets. During the first 10 months of 2005, the retailer opened 605 new stores and closed 104 units including 38 as a result of significant hurricane damage.The chain is on track to open its target of 730 new stores this fiscal year.

During the quarter, Dollar General achieved net income of $64.4 million, or 20 cents per share, compared to a net income of $71.1 million, or 22 cents per share, for the same period last year. Net sales for the third quarter were $2.1 billion, a 9.5% increase over net sales of $1.9 billion for the same period in 2004. The increase was a result of opening new stores and a same-store sales increase of 1.4%.

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