EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Dollar General is making good on its plan to add hundreds of new stores, and its stake in South Jersey is growing as well.

The retailer, based in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, has been growing fast in recent years. The chain announced in March 2016 it expected to open 900 new stores before the end of 2016 and about 1,000 additional locations this year, to add to its existing inventory of 12,500 stores in 43 states.

Until recently, Dollar General had 10 stores within 20 miles of Pleasantville, including in Egg Harbor and Galloway townships, Ventnor and Egg Harbor City. The chain also has two stores in Upper Township, Cape May County, and another in Little Egg Harbor Township, Ocean County.

A grand opening was held Saturday, July 9, at its newest local store, at Route 9 and Noah’s Road in Pleasantville. Another store is under construction in Somers Point along Route 9 at New York Avenue.

Four others are in the planning or conceptualization stage in Egg Harbor Township, Absecon and Upper Township.

Two in Egg Harbor Township have received conditional approval by the township Planning Board.

One parcel is along English Creek Avenue just north of the intersection with West Jersey Avenue, for which the board approved plans for a 9,300-square-foot store. The second proposed site would host a 9,250-square-foot store on Robert Best Road near Zion Road.

According to Laura Somerville, a corporate communications representative from Dollar General, the company has not officially decided whether to move ahead with either Egg Harbor Township location.

“At this time, we are currently in a due-diligence phase for both sites located in Egg Harbor Township. This means we are reviewing the opportunity to add a new store in the area, but we have not committed to doing so just yet. Based on our current timeline, we anticipate to have a final decision on the Zion Road location within the next few weeks and a final decision on the English Creek location by late summer 2017,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Absecon Planning Board unanimously approved plans Wednesday for a Dollar General store at Route 9 and California Avenue.

“What they are preparing is exactly what we were looking for,” Planning Board Planner Rob Reid said. “This is one of the better-looking Dollar Generals out there.”

The new Absecon store will be 9,188 square feet and face Route 9. A second access point will come from Ross Hill Drive, which turns off California Avenue at the rear of the store, according to attorney Jason R. Tuvel.

“This is not a 99-cent store,” Tuvel said. “A Dollar General is like a Walgreens or a Rite Aid but without the drug store.”

In Upper Township, a 9,188-square-foot store at 1435 Route 50, just south of the Migliaccio Farms Development, is being conceptualized as well but faced community opposition in March during an informal meeting.

Somerville said Dollar General looks for locations that make shopping convenient.

“We know convenience is a major factor in our customers' shopping decisions, as we generally serve customers within a 3- to 5-mile radius, or 10-minute drive," she said. "We also take demographic trends, competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration."

Staff Writer R.J. Liberatore contributed to this report.

Stay informed! Sign up to receive top headlines from Atlantic County delivered to your inbox.

Contact: 609-601-5194

Twitter @EHTCurrent