3,000 jobs could be cut as regulators approve the sale of Charlotte discount retailer

Dollar Express signs at the company’s former Charlotte headquarters
Dollar Express signs at the company’s former Charlotte headquarters Charlotte Observer

It looks like more employees than originally thought could lose their jobs as federal regulators approve Dollar General’s purchase of hundreds of stores operated by Dollar Express, the Charlotte-based chain of former Family Dollar stores owned since late 2015 by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

Earlier this month, Tennessee-based Dollar General confirmed its plans to buy all 323 discount stores in 36 states from Dollar Express, a deal sources have said could result in the layoff of about 2,800 employees nationwide – including 110 in the Charlotte corporate office. On Thursday, the Federal Trade Commission approved the sale, and said approximately 3,000 people are affected.

The FTC said Sycamore Partners had requested a shortening of the standard 30-day public comment period to 15 days on the sale of the 323 stores “to allow Dollar Express to fulfill the majority of its commitments, including those made to approximately 3,000 employees.”

Sycamore had said in its application to the FTC that Dollar Express “can no longer operate as a viable standalone business,” because changes in competitive conditions since the purchase. The firm has not elaborated on what those conditions are.

Earlier this month, multiple Dollar Express employees told the Observer they were informed that their last day of employment would be on or around June 2 since Dollar General is not retaining any of them.

It’s unclear whether Dollar General plans to rehire any of the employees from the Dollar Express stores that are closing. There are two in Charlotte – one 1437 E. Sugar Creek Road, and another at 5300 South Blvd. A Dollar General representative could not be reached for comment.

Also unclear is whether Dollar General’s previously announced plans earlier this year to add 1,000 new stores and create more than 10,000 new jobs nationwide are related to its purchase of Dollar Express. Those jobs could be going to fill the acquired Dollar Express stores, experts say.

A representative from Sycamore Partners declined to comment.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta