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Dollar General CEO: Economy Creating More Poor People

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The CEO of Dollar General has revealed why his company is doing so well: The U.S. economy keeps on creating more poor people.

Todd Vasos made the remarks in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, which noted that the company has more than 14,000 stores across the country.

Vasos explained that Dollar General focuses on customers earning less than $40,000 annually.

"The economy is continuing to create more of our core customer," Vasos said, according to Vox.

In 2016, Dollar General experienced its 27th year of sales growth in stores open for at least a year.

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Vasos provided an indication of who the retailer's core customer is.

"Doesn't look at her pantry or her refrigerator and say, 'You know, I'm going to be out of ketchup in the next few days. I'm going to order a few bottles,'" added Vasos. "The core customer uses the last bit of ketchup at the table the night prior, and either on her way to work or on her way home picks up one bottle."

Vasos noted that Dollar General has opened stores in areas showing few signs of economic recovery, including small rural communities.

"We are putting stores today [in areas] that perhaps five years ago were just on the cusp of probably not being our demographic," added Vasos. "And it has now turned to being our demographic."

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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 41 million Americans live in poverty. Other estimates put the number much higher.

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extreme poverty, began a tour of the U.S. on Dec. 1 to explore how poverty is affecting residents' lives.

"Despite great wealth in the U.S., there also exists great poverty and inequality," Alston said, according to The Guardian.

Alston's tour will conclude Dec. 15. He will present his final report to the U.N. in June 2018.

In 2016, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality put the U.S. at the bottom of a list of 10 well-off countries ranked according to their levels of income and wealth inequality. The study also found that the U.S. is one of the worst countries when it comes to enabling low-income families to escape poverty.

According to Vox, levels of inequality could be set to increase if the tax reform proposal being worked on in Congress is passed. The measure contains tax cuts for corporations and better-off sections of the population, but would increase taxes on the lowest earners.

Sources: Vox, The Guardian / Featured Image: Mike Mozart/Flickr / Embedded Images: hattiesburgmemory/Wikimedia Commons, Shealah Craighead/The White House/Wikimedia Commons

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