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Dollar General to close its doors soon

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Dollar General in Mason City' Willowbrook Mall

Dollar General in Mason City’ Willowbrook Mall

by Jody Spear –

MASON CITY – The Dollar General store, located at 1631 4th Street SW, behind McDonald’s, will be closing soon. Mercy Hospital will be taking over much of the Willowbrook Plaza.

Although management and staff couldn’t comment, due to corporate policy, is has been said that the store will be closing in the middle of June. No specific date is known at this time.

No employees will be losing their job, unless they choose to venture off on other opportunities. Most of the Dollar General employees will be relocated to other stores. Some employees will be transferred to the Clear Lake Dollar General and some to the downtown Mason City store, and some to other area stores.

The store is nearly empty at this time, but there is still a chance to pick up some deals. The sales are 40, 50 and even 60 percent off the lowest price marked on items. The products that are not on sale are the food and cleaning supplies departments.

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Posted on June 4, 2013. Filed under Top Stories.
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44 Responses to Dollar General to close its doors soon

  1. concernedcitizen2 Reply Report comment

    June 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    lvs-I heard the same thing about the treatment of employees at mercy, too. If you have been there for a lot of years and are a certain age, they will figure out a way to get rid of you and hire someone else cheap. They make sure their insurance doesn’t cover going to Mayo Clinic, too.

  2. concernedcitizen2 Reply Report comment

    June 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Way to go, Dave. You are the one with common sense. So what if there is another Dollar General store and people aren’t loosing their jobs. There was no reason to have to close that store and for people to have to go to other stores. How many empty stores are in this town Mercy could have gone in to? And years ago Mercy didn’t own all those houses around there. As far as having houses for doctors, what a joke. They can’t get doctors to come in here. They will probably put more offices in Willowbrook and pay people too much money to do nothing like they are now. The patient will probably get no benefit from it either. Just another way to get rid of some money since they have more than they know what to do with. Talk to the people on Linden Drive sometime. See what their take is on Mercy.

  3. Dave Reply Report comment

    June 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I think it is sad that Mercy just takes anything they want in this town and they don’t care who they hurt. Whether it taking our homes or closing a business, putting someone out of a job even if a small job its putting food on someone’s table or paying their rent and yes our city counsel just turns a blind cheek and let it happen. It’s sad that almighty $ is what the owner of Willow Brook Mall is looking @ !

    • common sense man Reply Report comment

      June 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

      Nobody is losing their jobs. Everyone has been given the opportunity to work at the other dollar stores in Mason City and Clear lake. Also Mercy has taken anybodys house…they owned the houses they took down, and they own many more in that area, that new doctors use when they move to town. Get your facts straight.

      • one who knows Reply Report comment

        June 8, 2013 at 3:14 am

        know of 2 who will not be employed after the store closes. not room at the other store in town, and no way to travel out of town on daily basis.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          June 8, 2013 at 8:31 am

          @one who knows-Exactly. People do not think about these things unless they are some of the ones who will be hurt. People who have resources often forget or just don’t know what other people who don’t have them go through. They drive by poor folk every day and don’t even see them.

  4. concernedcitizen2 Reply Report comment

    June 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    To common sense man. A lot of people use the Dollar Stores since they are reasonable and smaller so you don’t have to walk a mile to get something. Why would Mercy want to take over a mall anyway? And you think they are adding big paying jobs doing this? What rock do you live under? They should have plenty of money. They don’t pay any taxes and they could care less if they run a store out or tear peoples houses out so they have to move. They stick offices all over town and no one ever knows where their doctors are anymore. Why don’t they add on to West Campus with all the land they have? Oh, that would make sense. They are trying to be Mayo Clinic and never will be so they need to give it up. And Dollar General paid their lease on time all the years they have been there. Check with the employees and their morale if you think Mercy is so great. If this was your store or your job, you would be whistling another tune. Oh, and low paying jobs. Check with the city. That is all they ever bring to this town!

    • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

      June 7, 2013 at 12:45 am

      can a divorced mother of two, whos husband left her, (basicly not a whore) raise those kids on minimum wage? Or does she need help with food stamps and medical aid? If Mason City has so many low paying jobs, then one cannot complain about assistance some people get. Not everyone is abusing the system. Just venting from another post

      • My Voice Reply Report comment

        June 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

        50, I can hear the passion in your words. You’re right…not everyone does cheat the system.

        This must hit close to home for you in some way or another. Maybe I’m wrong but it’s OK for you to feel the way you do about it.

        My issue is only with those that do…and I agree with you in the same regards with the farmers. I wish we could fix the problems with the system but just remember, just because something is legal, doesn’t always make it….right.

        Thank you for your perspective. Take care.

    • common sense man Reply Report comment

      June 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

      @concerned citizen….everything in this post is wrong, nearsited, and basically a blustering ramble. 1. the only slightly true thing you said is people use the dollar store, brilliant insite there…if the people who use that particular location cannot drive, walk, or use public transportation to go to the dollar store in hy vee west mall then yes they would be affected.
      2. It is common sense would tell you that when Mercy expands they add jobs, these are not window washers they are employing trained health care professionals that receive excellent salarys and benefits to say otherwise is insane
      3. The people who are no longer working at the dollar store ALL have been given the opportunity to work at the other dollar stores in Mason City and Clear Lake…nobody except if they want to is losing their job.
      4. You say Mercy took peoples houses…they owned the houses they tore down where they will build their new plant.
      5. You say people don’t know where their doctor is located! Then you might have some real problems other than the dollar store.
      6. You say Mercy wants to be the Mayo Clinic…that statement is pure hogwash, and if it was true…whats wrong with trying to be the best at what you do?
      7. You say what if that was my store and my job? I would go to the other dollar stores in town and keep working that’s what I would do.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        June 7, 2013 at 10:22 am

        @common sense man-some of what you are saying is accurate and some isn’t. For one thing, there are a lot of Mercy employees that are NOT happy there for various reasons. Mostly because they are not treated with respect. Their health insurance is not that goo either and it is no good except at Mercy. Talk to some and you will find out. Just going to the hospital won’t do it because they know not to show their displeasure. I don’t frequent the Dollar Stores very much but I do know that a lot of people depend on them. It is easy to say just go to the next one but not so easy to get there if you don’t have transportation. I know a lady who walks to the dollar store every day (8 blocks) and used to ride her wheelchair there. She depends on it for her grocery’s. Most people don’t ever see someone like that although they are there every day. Please look before you talk. There is a whole different world out there that you know nothing about how they live.

        • common sense man Reply Report comment

          June 7, 2013 at 11:07 am

          @lvs…I do agree with you on a few things. I did state in my post that those who do not have transportation, cannot use public transit, or walk would be affected. It is a burden to them and I recognize that. The number that this pertains too I do not know, I feel it is not probably a large amount of citizens.
          My sister in law has worked at Mercy for 27 years and has always felt thankful for the job. Yes there probably are some disgruntled employees much as there are disgruntled employees at Curries, Principal, the city, woodharbour etc. Not everybody is going to be happy all the time at every job.
          As far as the insurance goes this is what I know, she pays 250 dollars per month for a family of 5, they pay no out of pocket expense for any doctors visit or procedure, they fill 5 perscriptions per month at a total of 5 dollars plus tax, and Mercy puts a nice sum of money into a health savings account every month in case of a major medical issue. So if a expensive operation occurs they still would not pay a dime, because the savings account would cover the deductible. As far as health insurance goes its one of the best I have heard of.

          Bottom line is there are people out there who are less fortunate than you and I, but I don’t think that it is Mercys fault for their situation. If anything it is the city and state that have failed to provide for their basic needs of transportation.

        • Katie Reply Report comment

          June 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm

          Also, I know that if Mercy employees need something that is not available there, they can go to Iowa City for treatment. I have a good friend who has to go there frequently for tests on a machine that Mercy does not have and treatments that Mercy does not do.

        • My Voice Reply Report comment

          June 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm

          “As far as the insurance goes this is what I know, she pays 250 dollars per month for a family of 5, they pay no out of pocket expense for any doctors visit or procedure, they fill 5 perscriptions per month at a total of 5 dollars plus tax, and Mercy puts a nice sum of money into a health savings account every month in case of a major medical issue.”

          Wow, that’s odd. I know Mercy’s insurance very well…and it isn’t as good as this leads one to believe as far as what you have to pay….

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        June 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

        @common sense man-I’m sorry. I guess maybe I didn’t explain it very well. It is not Mercy’s fault that people do not have transportation and I didn’t mean to imply it was. But, there are a lot more people than you think that fall into that category. There are lots of elderly who no longer drive and lot of younger people who have lost their license for one reason or another. I do know that a relative of mine was not allowed to go to Mayo for treatment because she was insured by Mercy. They also cut her as soon as her medical savings and PTO had been used. Hell of a way to treat someone with almost 30 years there. I know of other people who have been treated the same way.

      • one who knows Reply Report comment

        June 8, 2013 at 3:19 am

        there are big differences in dollar general, and dollar tree. not even close to being the same store or place to shop

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 5, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    The Dollar store was overpriced.
    …by about 99 cents.

  6. Really Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 5, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    In all honesty, I don’t like the dollar stores. You get what you pay for.

    • !.!.! Reply Report comment

      June 5, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      I like the Dollar Stores. You get more for your dollar there. Some good deals too good to pass up. I go to the downtown store because it’s most convenient.

  7. common sense man Reply Report comment

    June 5, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I look at the closing of the dollar store as a positive step forward for Mason City. The dollar store has about 10 part time low wage jobs that will not be lost because they can go to other stores to work, in the meantime Mercy will be adding many new high paying jobs for that location, it is a very positive step forward. They are not asking the city and its taxpayers for money like the 175,000 that Curries wants for their new facility, plus it will keep a local construction company very busy for months doing the remodeling…this move is creating a lot of good paying jobs. If people are upset about not having a dollar store nearby…go to the dollar store in the Hy Vee west mall its about 5 minutes from the one being shut down.

    As far as the library goes, it is nothing more than a money pit. How many of you out there have used the actual “book” part of the library in the last 12 months? The library has become nothing more than a fancy meeting room facility for the city council…people who complain about the money spent on statues…take a long look at the money spent on the library. The way of the world is digital and the library does not conform to that.

    Finally maybe this Chodur guy can make something happen “big time” downtown. Our council and EDC is able to attract business downtown let somebody else have a crack at it. Chodur has apparently had a lot of success in development, lets hope he comes up with a good plan.

    • common sense man Reply Report comment

      June 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

      in the last paragraph I meant the city council and EDC are Unable to attract new business downtown…my mistake

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

      @common sense man-I can’t disagree about the library as hard as that is to admit. I grew up using the library and reading and it is kind of hard to understand that it is not needed now but I do understand that it is a money pit and is very hard to justify, kind of like the museum next door. It isn’t that they are closing the Dollar Store (I have only been in there once) it is just the idea that another business is closing after we have lost so many. Other than the construction crews I don’t see many jobs being created. They will probably just move people from another area to there. The problem is our city government wants to take credit for everything and should take credit for this as well. As for the Chodur deal, that is another story.

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        June 5, 2013 at 10:34 am

        Sorry about that-I didn’t sign in so the system called my Anonymous. I stand behind and in front of my posts.

      • common sense man Reply Report comment

        June 5, 2013 at 10:49 am

        @anonymous…I too grew up using the library and spent hundreds of hours in there reading and using the resources…and yes it would be sad to see it go. But from a pure numbers stand point is it viable? Does it cost more money than it generates? I think we know the answer to that. Times change and the library is becoming a expensive antique.

        As far as the Mercy expansion, from what I understand from neighbors and family members who are employees of Mercy they will be adding approx. 15 new jobs at that location all high paying and with excellent benefits. I believe Mercy wants to take over most of the mall and the way I look at it anytime the biggest employer with the highest average salary wants to expand it is a very good thing for this city

    • one who knows Reply Report comment

      June 5, 2013 at 5:16 pm

      about 10 part time jobs. actually more full time employees there than part time. guess you don’t know that. also not that bad of wages for retail, plus insurance. even insurance for part time is offered. might not effect you, but several people are having their lives changed, and not for the better. as far as mercy hospital goes, they should change the name to vodo tec.

  8. hmmmm Reply Report comment

    June 5, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Can someone tell me how the library makes money. The books are free to read do they charge for the meeting rooms

  9. one who knows Reply Report comment

    June 5, 2013 at 4:25 am

    I bet the food and cleaning go on markdown Thursday. also lower prices on the things already on clearance then.

  10. MC Citizen Reply Report comment

    June 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    It’s too bad. The store was convenient and had easy access to the store.

  11. Comment King Reply Report comment

    June 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    People are so broke in Mason Shitty they can’t even afford the dollar store no more.

  12. LVS Reply Report comment

    June 4, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    And, another one bites the dust. Just another lost business here in shitty city. But of course there will be some morons that will try to find a way to justify this and give the mayor and his court of fools credit for urban renewal.

    • 4ever49 Reply Report comment

      June 4, 2013 at 4:08 pm

      Oh come on, Dollar General is not going out of business.
      I would bet Mercy offered the owner a longer term lease than Dollar General would do with other better terms.
      Having seen some Dollar General leases I know they are not the hottest commodity out there.
      Since this is an existing development I also doubt the mayor or EDC has anything to do with it.

      • hmmmm Reply Report comment

        June 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

        Wow your mind just amazes me and that is not in a good way just say’n. The mayor and council get all excited when curries adds on 3 jobs forgetting how many they laid off in the past couple of years but when a store GOES OUT of business it isn’t that big of deal funny how things turn when businesses leave town. If that store isn’t going out of business why is it not going to be there gees you been going to many council meetings

      • LVS Reply Report comment

        June 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

        @4ever49=Get off your high horse. The mayor and his groupies want to take credit every time some one adds two jobs even if they just laid off 10 the week before. They must also take credit when we lose a existing business. I noticed you people had no comments when it was brought up about the 10 empty stores in the mall or the 10 that are in the cultural plaza. What about all the other empty stores downtown? What about the Sears Shopping Center? Where are all those businesses? Come on, lets here some of your snappy comebacks. Oh yea, I forgot the north end and everything in between. That’s right, we spent all of our money on statues and the museum and moving the mayors office. What did you say?

        • 4ever49 Reply Report comment

          June 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm

          Most of the retail vacancies you cited are a consequence of the actual retail center of town moving west due to the Wal-Mart and other big boxes. Just count the number of cars in the parking lots out west vs. downtown, Sears, etc. any weekend.
          Retail employment is secondary and dependent on the level of primary jobs like Curries, Mercy, etc. If anything, the replacement of Dollar General with Mercy may well raise the level of primary employment & the multiplier will come into play.
          You can fault the mayor for spending money on “cultural” items & that may be justified in your opinion, but the amounts spent on statues are relatively small & inconsequential.
          Given the choice just where would you have spent the money and what would be the benefit?

          • Matt Marquardt

            June 4, 2013 at 10:19 pm

            The dollars wasted on sculptures are hotel/motel tax dollars that have limited ways it can be spent. One way the dollars are allowed by law to be spent is on our library, which is heading into the red and already struggling financially. As the library continues to slide into debt, poor decisions like spending public tax dollars on sculptures will come into play. The library already needs a bailout; they have talked about shutting parts of it down. The taxpayers will make up the difference soon.

        • 4ever49 Reply Report comment

          June 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm

          Matt, good point regarding the library. Isn’t it already “in debt” given the $7+ million spent on its renovation? I don’t think anyone thought it would generate enough revenue to deal with this debt level but it is disheartening that it apparently is not covering its own operational nut.
          It may well be that in addition to the Post Office & print media universal access to the internet is driving libraries to their knees.

          • Matt Marquardt

            June 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

            Yes that debt is being paid off I believe. This new problem is operating costs. Overhead. It was an issue at budget time and Bookmeyer and the Council turned a blind eye. Everything costs more than they thought it would. Mary Markwalter is doing a great job but there’s only so much she can do. The library just needs more dollars to operate.

        • maybe Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 6:55 am

          Funny you should mention that LVS, a consignment store up town closed and a new business wants to move in the building, a consignment auction but city council started quoting all kinds of regulations basically cutting this business off before it even gets started. It seems as if the council doesn’t want a new business there. The regulations are, in the building there are 2 bathrooms, one on the main floor and 1 in the basement but they want 2 on the main floor. There will be 2 auctions a month.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 9:11 am

          @maybe-It just pisses me off that they promote a dead downtown like they do. Every one of those empty stores provided employment and paid taxes and they are gone along with the revenue they provided. Look at Southgate, what a depressing disaster that is right along with the stores across Federal. If it wasn’t for used car lots there would be nothing. Don’t forget North Federal that used to have many small businesses and they are all gone. Then of course we have the industrial park that is nothing more than a trucking lot anymore. Look at the hundreds if not thousands of good paying jobs that have been lost in this city. Yet these people think they can spend our dollars on their personal art crap.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

          Maybe: There are two auction houses for sale in Hampton. By locating in Hampton they could control the auction busines for a twenty mile radius. Mason City has plenty of auctioneers in the area. (enough competition). Again Hampton has two ready to move in businesses.

        • maybe Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

          I talked to the guy that wants to open an auction house here and he said he has so many contacts here in town and tons of people that have stuff that they want to sell. He said since he lives here in town he didn’t want to go to Hampton because that was brought up.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 1:12 pm

          remind him that mid week is best for dealers. And to not pick a day other auctions choose. that way I can support them.

        • maybe Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 1:57 pm

          The city council said he can have a store there but NO auction house because of the bathrooms.

        • 50 MILES SOUTH Reply Report comment

          June 5, 2013 at 9:37 pm

          Not sure of space but it would not be hard to put in another restroom. plumbing is there already and thats the hard part.