Sister Bay may finally have an answer to what will replace Shopko, which in June closed its stores throughout the state, including one in the village. Point of Beginning, a Stevens Point-based company, has submitted plans to build a Dollar General store at the corner of Highway 42 and Fieldcrest Road.
Many in the village had hoped that any replacement would fill the former Shopko location just down the road, but Point of Beginning plans to build a new, 7,500-square-foot building with 41 parking spaces. The entrance to the parking lot would be located on Fieldcrest Road. Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft said the plans are thorough and well done.
The village plan commission gets its first look at the plans Tuesday at its meeting at the Sister Bay Village Hall. The meeting begins at 5:30 pm.
“They are really doing a good job of upping the aesthetics to make the architecture blend in with the surroundings,” he said.
The proposal qualifies as a permitted use within the B-1 general zoning district. The store would be located between the Aurora Clinic and Professional Realty, and across the street from Pirate’s Cove Miniature Golf.
Contrary to a common belief, national chain retailers are not banned in northern Door County – something many Sister Bay residents discovered in 2010, when a Subway sandwich shop was proposed in the village. That proposal was met with wide public outcry, and the developer withdrew the proposal after learning it would be subject to conditional use rules.
Ace Hardware, Piggly Wiggly, True Value and every gas station are also examples of businesses carrying national brand names in northern Door County.
Dollar General claims 15,475 locations nationwide, bringing in more than $25 billion in annual sales, according to CNN. The chain has 126 Wisconsin locations and specializes in low-margin food, cleaning, household, toy, pet and personal-care products.
Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores have boomed since the Great Recession. There are now more such stores than Walmarts and Starbucks combined, and the chains sell more groceries than Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, though predominantly shelf-stable items. Dollar General’s headquarters are in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.
Prices at the stores don’t always match the name. Just 25 percent of products in the stores sell for $1 or less, and studies have shown that on a per-unit basis, prices at dollar stores are often higher than prices at independent grocers and other large chains such as Walmart and Costco, according to the sustainable-food website Civil Eats.
Point of Beginning did not return a request for comment. Bernhoft said the firm is not in a rush, and building would likely not begin until spring.