Dollar General CEO: Best investment is expansion

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New York City Richard Dreiling, Dollar General’s CEO, told CNBC Monday that the company is preparing to create as many as 4,000 jobs this year as part of its effort to open 450 stores in 35 states.

“We’re coming off of a very good year in 2008, and quite frankly see no better thing to do than reinvest back into the chain," Dreiling said in an interview with CNBC's Erin Burnett.

The expansion speaks to Dollar General's convenience strategy. The company operates more stores than any other discount retailer, including Wal-Mart.

Cost-conscious consumers have been turning to discounters in an effort to make their money stretch further, and many of the places where Dollar General will be expanding are some of the areas hardest hit by the current recession.

"Customers are coming in more often and we are also seeing new customers who are attracted to our value proposition," Dreiling said.

The privately held company also has been trying to widen the array of products it sells and to improve customer service.

"We're really pushing the envelope on the traditional discount model," he said.