Dollar Store changes : Beer and produce

Make no mistake -- dollar stores are popping{}up{}in all kinds of neighborhoods-- they are everywhere. Under served communities have seen a sharp increase in the variety stores.

"Dollar stores have really filled a niche since the recession started,"{} said{}Jacksonville State University economics professor Chris Westly{}"{}It is very similar to what Wal-Mart did back in the 1970's ..developing a{}presence in rural parts of the country."

The price-point retailers are part of the fabric of many communities.

{}"This is the only store that we have that we can go get products that ordinarily we have to go tot Wal-Mart in Pell City to get," said Ragland resident Pam French.

These stores are beginning to branch out. Dollar General has gotten into the supermarket business in Hanceville under the "Dollar General Market" branding. According to the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control, Dollar General is the only dollar store selling alcohol in the state, and increasingly so over the past year and half.

Up until 3 weeks ago, a Dollar General in Ragland sold beer. The{}town passed an ordinance{}restricting where alcohol can be sold, and{}used it to protest{}the store's alcohol license before the ABC board. The store is across the street from a church and a block away from Ragland High School.

"I really don't think they need it . There are places to sell alcohol, why put it in dollar stores ?," said Ragland's Pam Spencer

JSU's Westly says be prepared to see other Dollar Stores jump on the bandwagon

"The mark up are not great in this industry. Any little thing they can do to bring in more revenue , they are going to do it", said Westly.