NEW YORK — As it approaches a store count of 11,000, Dollar General Corp. is not concerned the dollar-store segment is reaching a saturation point, Rick Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer of the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based chain, said here Wednesday.

"As long as our new store program, remodels and reloads, are still adding approximately 1.5% on the comp line, that speaks to the fact the saturation point hasn't been hit," he explained during a presentation at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference. "We've always been huge believers in same-store sales growth. If that metric were to change, that would be the time we might have to look at it a little differently."

He said Dollar General Markets — stores with expanded consumables assortments — will hit 100 locations shortly, with plans to open 25 to 30 more "pretty quickly. And it's still very much research in process. But right now we're getting our margins to be a little more reliable."

Asked whether Dollar General would consider opening stores outside the U.S., Dreiling replied, "With 10,000 opportunities here in the U.S., domestic growth is low risk compared with going international. We are in 40 states, and though we look at anything, our focus right now is just on the continental U.S."

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