Discount retail chain Dollar Express has confirmed plans to close five stores in Indiana, including two in Indianapolis. But it is possible the stores could re-emerge as Dollar General retail locations.
The closure plans were disclosed in a letter to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development dated March 30 and posted online this week.
In addition to two stores in Gary and one in Fort Wayne, Dollar Express said it would close local stores at 715 E. 38th St. and 9950 Pendleton Pike. The stores go by the name Family Dollar.
Dollar Express said the closures will take place June 30 and eliminate 38 employees overall, including 13 in Indianapolis. The local positions include two store managers, four assistant managers and seven customer service representatives.
The closings were revealed during the same week that Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based Dollar General Corp. confirmed that it has agreed to acquire the entire 323-store Dollar Express chain.
Whether the Indiana closure plans by Dollar Express are related to the acquisition is unclear. Company officials could not be reached for comment Thursday morning.
Charlotte, North Carolina-based Dollar Express was created in November 2015 as part of Dollar Tree Inc.'s $9.2 billion acquisition of Family Dollar Stores Inc. The Federal Trade Commission required the merging companies to divest 330 Family Dollar stores in 35 states for antitrust reasons.
New York City-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners acquired the stores and formed Dollar Express. Sycamore Partners is now selling the chain to Dollar General for an undisclosed amount.
The Charlotte Observer reported that as many as 2,700 full-time and part-time store employees could lose their jobs as part of the sale to Dollar General.
Dollar General plans to close some of the Dollar Express locations but will convert some of them to Dollar General stores, the newspaper reported.
The retailer is in expansion mode. It announced last year that it planned to open as many as 2,000 additional stores and remodel hundreds more.
Dollar General operates about 12,400 stores nationwide, including 59 stores within 20 miles of downtown Indianapolis, according to its website.
The company reported a 13.7 percent increase in sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, to $6 billion.