Dollar General said today it is purchasing 323 stores nationwide — including 24 in Michigan — from Dollar Express, which is owned by a private equity firm, pending regulatory and other approvals.

The acquisition would allow Dollar General a chance to buy some of the former Family Dollar stores it had sought to purchase — but lost out on in a high-profile, contentious bidding war between two rival dollar store chains — just two years ago.

If approved, the stores likely will change ownership and names, but still sell similar, low-priced merchandise.

Dollar stores, as their names imply, are aimed at shoppers looking for lower-price items. In contrast to long-standing department stores — which are closing stores as they struggle with falling sales as shoppers seek to save money and increasingly buy items online — the big dollar-store chains are expanding.

Once the Dollar Express sale is approved and store inventory is liquidated, Dollar General plans to temporarily close the stores to give them a makeover, and within about six weeks, re-open them in the Dollar General store format and under the company’s recognizable yellow-and-black signs.

“The stores will be converted to the Dollar General banner in the coming months,” the equity…