EGG HARBOR, Wis (NBC 26) -- On Thursday evening in Door County, the Egg Harbor Town Board is scheduled to hear a proposal from Dollar General about a potential new location for their business. And while the convenience of having an additional option for shopping may have some excited, others are concerned about the potential of a big box store moving into their small community of just 201 people.
Just off of Highway 42 and Hillside Road, just south of Egg Harbor's Fun Park, is the proposed site location for a new Dollar General store. It would be the first big box store to open in the community, and some are petitioning against that from happening.
"We have 2,850 signers who oppose the project. Half of the those are local Door county residents, and the other half are among the two million visitors who come to Door County every year," says Meg Stapleton a member of We Are Eggs Against Dollar General.
Stapleton has been working for months collecting signatures and data to convince the Town Board to reject the proposal. She says that for one, big box stores aren't a good fit for Door County and the two grocery stores that could be impacted by its opening.
"Our research shows us that a Dollar General coming into a small rural community can impact other grocers by reducing their revenue by more than 30 percent. In some cases, it has driven small local grocery stores out of business."
Stapleton also has concerns about the amount of increased traffic the general store could bring to Hillside Road and Highway 42. Her husband, Mike Stapleton, has been looking into data and says in the summer months Highway 42 is one of the busiest highways in all of Wisconsin, and the intersection that the proposed site is on could become even more dangerous than in summers past.
"We have documentation from another Dollar General in a small community like this and they had a traffic study showing that they estimate568 additional vehicles per day. And they would all have to come right through this intersection," says Mike Stapleton.
Currently, there are two grocery stores in Egg Harbor. The co-owner of Main Street Market, Kaaren Northrop says while she thinks she could handle the competition that a Dollar General could bring, she does have concerns.
"People come here to get away from things like that. People don't come to northern Door County to go to every big box store that they can see wherever they live," says Northrop.
Northrop's shop has been open for 33 years, serving her community of 201 residents and countless tourists over the course of the years. She says her community is predominately made up of small family-owned businesses that spend the dollars made locally, within their area.
"Door County is a very unique community. We're really trying to hold onto that."
Her biggest concern about a big box store opening up in northern Door County is that it will open the doors for other big businesses to consider making the move as well.
"That's the biggest thing. Everybody is trying to protect what we have here."
In a statement provided from Dollar General representatives, they stated:
We are currently in a due diligence phase for a new location in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin that would be located off Hillside Road. This means we’re interested in adding a new store in Door County but have not committed to doing so quite yet. At this time, we anticipate having a final decision later this spring.
At Dollar General, we strive to be a positive business partner and good community neighbor. We believe the addition of a new DG in Egg Harbor community would represent positive economic growth within the community. Our beneficial impact would be reflected through the creation of local jobs and opportunities for employee development and career advancement and through grants provided through the Dollar General Literacy Foundation that positively impact literacy and education initiatives at schools, non-profits and libraries. We hope our new store would help customers save money on the items they purchase most often and need so they have remaining funds to use toward purchases they want.
Our customers are at the center of all that we do, and meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority when choosing store locations. In selecting store sites, we take a number of factors into consideration, carefully evaluating each potential new store location to ensure we can continue to meet our customers’ price, value and selection needs.
The store would employ approximately 6-10 employees, depending on the individual needs of the store. Anyone interested in joining one of America’s fastest-growing retailers with competitive wages and benefits, world-class training and development and the ability to further their through our growing organization career – where approximately 75% of current store managers were promoted from within our organization – may apply for available positions online at www.dollargeneral.com/careers [dollargeneral.com].
Also, the critical role played by our stores has been evident during the COVID pandemic as customers seek convenient options to purchase essential household goods. During this time of national crisis, our customers have relied on Dollar General to remain open and provide the essential items they need at affordable prices in a smaller, less crowded and easy, in-and-out environment. We take this responsibility of service very seriously, and we are proud to have remained open for our customers during these uncertain times. Our efforts were recognized by Forbes magazine, which identified Dollar General among its top 25 corporate responders to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are reflected in a Harris Poll that outlines the essential role Dollar General stores in the lives of our customers.
To check out the We Are Eggs Against Dollar General petition, and to consider donating to their cause click here.