(Reuters) - U.S. discount retailer Dollar General Corp said it plans to hire 10,000 employees by mid-October, boosting its headcount by nearly 9 pct to support its expansion efforts as it looks to protect its turf amid fierce competition.


The company said on Thursday it would hire full-time and part-time employees, including for permanent sales floor positions such as store managers, lead sales associates and store associates.


The news comes two weeks after bigger rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would cut 7,000 back-office jobs to focus more of its resources on the sales floor.


Dollar stores operators such as Dollar General and bigger rival Dollar Tree Inc are locked in an intense battle against each other as well as big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart to win over shoppers.


Dollar stores have eaten into the market shares of their big-box rivals in recent years, helped by aggressive expansion, improving product assortment and low prices.


Dollar General operates more than 13,000 stores in the United States and has laid out plans to open 900 stores this year and about 1,000 more in 2017.

The retailer had about 113,400 full-time and part-time employees as of Feb. 26. It has hired 42,000 employees since 2008, or an average of about 5,200 each year.

(Reporting by Jessica Kuruthukulangara in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)