A couple of months ago, representatives from Dollar Tree/Family Dollar approached officials from the Town of Sumrall with discussions about providing a new retail option for residents and visitors to the town.
Those plans are now coming to fruition, with an upcoming Dollar Tree/Family Dollar combination store in the works on a vacant plot of land on Mississippi 42, near the intersection of New York Avenue between Sumrall Drug Store and Ramey’s Marketplace.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Mayor Joel Lofton said. “It’s going to provide several jobs, as well as other retail opportunities for our residents.
“We had a Fred’s store here until the entire chain (closed) down probably 18 months or two years ago. Since then we’ve been left, as far as general merchandise, just with a Dollar General. I think it’s a great thing for the folks in our town to have another option.”
If all goes according to plan, officials expect construction to begin before Christmas, followed by a grand opening before Easter 2022.
“We actually met with the owner; he owns and builds the stores, so he carries it from the beginning to the end,” Lofton said. “He has all of his paperwork, all of his documentation in order, and was very prepared to move forward.
“I can tell you … I have seen some movement there, some survey markers, that were not there just a week ago. So he kept true to his word … and he’s moving forward.”
To make the new store possible, officials from the dollar store recently met with the Sumrall Board of Aldermen to request a zoning change for the property that would allow the construction of commercial real estate.
“Part of the property was already zoned commercial, but because of the size of their store, it ran over onto a small section that was residential zoning,” Lofton said. “So they made that request with the zoning board, and the zoning board looked at their request and plans, and sent the recommendation to the board of aldermen.
“They voted to approve the zoning change, and that kind of opens the door for them to come on in and start their process of site prep and building. Years ago, there was a home on a portion of the property, and that was the part that they had to have rezoned.”
Lofton said the new store will be a huge help to shoppers who have been looking for other retail options in Sumrall.
“This is something that a lot of folks have been looking for – additional opportunities,” he said. “We have a lot of great small shops in town, but for general merchandise and daily cleaning supplies and household supplies, we’re really limited at this time.
“So it’s a great thing that we’re going to have this other option coming in.”
In addition to the new dollar store, Lofton also is looking forward to more dining options in town, with two new restaurants set to come to Sumrall in the near future. One of those new endeavors is more of a “stop-and-go” restaurant, while the other will be a seated, full service-type establishment.
“We’ve not really put any information out as far as what their names will be, or opening dates – I haven’t really put any of that out,” Lofton said. “But I’ll give some more information on that as soon as they’re comfortable sharing with me. (Because of delayed supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic), one of them is a month or two behind of where they’re supposed to be. “I hope that within a month or so, we’ve got some solid information we can share on those. That’s something that everybody has talked about needing and wanting, and I think they’ll do really well.”