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The Dollar General discount store opened in early June in Dell Rapids, and by all accounts, it seems to be a hit for customers around the Fourth Street and Highway 115 area.

Dollar General is located in the spot vacated by Family Dollar in May of last year.

A steady stream of cars hit the parking lot each day, shopping for everything from food to home decor, domestics, housewares, party supplies, rugs and towels.

The Dells Dollar General Store is also known as an NCI store, which stands for non-consumable initiative. That initiative enables the store to carry other items outside of food. The stores are also known as Home Stores throughout the chain. Dollar General Corporation currently operates more than 16,500 stores and by the end of 2020, 5,000 of those will be NCI stores.

For Dells Auto employee Louis Bailly, the convenience is paramount as he makes a quick walk across the street on a regular basis.

“There are other places to grab lunch, but this is just so convenient for us,” he said. “Some guys will even get off work, come over here and grab some things before they head home.”

A CNN Financial report from late June said that because Dollar General Stores are cheap, popular and spreading across America that they’ve become a burglary magnet. The report said the chain is adding more stores every year than any other retailer in America. That was the case even before the coronavirus pandemic, but the report said Dollar General has been in an even stronger position during the pandemic as price-conscious consumers stock up on essential items.

But if there is a trend for Dollar General Stores being a magnet for crime, it doesn’t seem to be a problem in Dell Rapids.

Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead said his department hasn’t had to deal with any disturbances at the new store.

“It has not been a problem in Dell Rapids. Dell Rapids is safe and we haven’t had an issue,” Millstead said. “Dollar General is a good business, and it’s been a good business for Dell Rapids.”

Dollar General, too, denies that there is a problem with crime at their stores that operate in 46 states in both rural and metro areas.

“We categorically deny any suggestion that our presence generates or causes crime, and we believe it is a fallacy to assume the proximity of a Dollar General store and a community’s criminal activity are causally related,” said Mary Kathryn Colbert in an email to the Tribune. “In keeping with our mission of serving others, we are proud to provide a convenient, affordable retail option to customers and communities that other retailers choose not to serve. We work collaboratively with law enforcement in the neighborhoods we call home, both as a business and community stakeholder.”

Colbert said Dollar General employs a number of measures designed to create and maintain a safe work environment for employees, and a safe shopping environment for customers.

“Our safety and security measures take into account not only federal and state laws and requirements, but also reflect the highest levels of retail industry standards and law enforcement agency recommendations,” she said.

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