Company says chief merchant James Thorpe is retiring
For the fiscal year, the discounter posted a profit of $1.25 billion, or $4.43 per share, the company announced on Thursday.
Dollar General expects 2017 full-year diluted earnings to be $4.25 to $4.50 per share.
The company said it would raise wages for store managers, who would also receive additional training. The company also announced it would increase its dividend 18% to 26 cents per share.
The retailer reported a strong Christmas holiday season. Gross profit as a percentage of sales fell from 31.8% to 31.6% in the three months to February 3, but this was due to higher sales of consumables, as shoppers were regularly coming into its stores. Same-store sales rose 1% on increased spending per visit.
The company also announced that James Thorpe, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, would retire on April 15.
“Jim’s strong understanding of our core customer and passion for our business have been instrumental in driving innovation in our merchandising initiatives,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer. “When Jim rejoined the company in 2015, we agreed upon a clear set of objectives for his tenure as CMO. As I knew he would, Jim has delivered on the merchandising strategies we identified as our highest priorities. I’m grateful for his contributions and wish Jim and his family the best in the future.”
Thorpe joined Dollar General in 2006 and served as its senior vice president and general merchandise manager until July 2012. He returned to Dollar General as executive vice president and CMO in August 2015. Prior to Dollar General, Thorpe served in merchandising leadership positions with Sears Holdings Corp. and in marketing roles with Zenith Data Systems and Maxima Corp.
“Being at Dollar General has been the highlight of my career,” Thorpe said. “I have been very fortunate to work with talented executives and an exceptional merchandising group. While I’m excited for the next chapter, I will miss being part of such a great team, and I have no doubt Dollar General will continue to grow and lead the way in the small-box discount retail business.”
Dollar General said it had begun a search for Thorpe’s successor.