As the lines of traditional retail continue to blur, Dollar General is gaining competitive ground across multiple sectors, including grocery, convenience, and most recently, health and wellness.
With 17,266 locations nationwide, Dollar General is the No. 1 retailer by store count, according to the Supermarket News 2021 Top 50 Retailers report. The company also ranked 12th in terms of sales, earning $33.75 billion over the past year, with an overall increase of 19.49%.
More Fresh Produce
The company’s accelerated growth has been particularly notable in rural areas, many of which are considered food deserts. According to a company press release, approximately 75% of the U.S. population now live within five miles of a Dollar General.
The retailer has received criticism in recent years for offering a very limited selection of healthy food options, including fresh fruits and vegetables, and boxing out other retailers that would sell a wider array of groceries, reported CNBC. (July 7)
In response to the criticism, Dollar General announced plans to add fresh produce in up to 10,000 stores. The company currently offers produce in 1,300 stores, approximately 7%, along with the top 20 items typically sold in grocery stores.
The company also formed an operational partnership with Feeding America. The collaboration will be highlighted by a $1 million donation to the organization, as well as in-kind donations to community food banks across the country.
Health and Wellness Options
This week, Dollar General revealed plans to become a health care destination by adding products such as cold and cough medication and dental supplies to its shelves, reported CNBC. The discount retailer also hired its first chief medical officer, Dr. Albert Wu, to build relationships with companies that provide health care products and services, in order to develop its own line of offerings.
According to Jefferies analyst Corey Tarlowe, expanding into health care will help Dollar General gain market share and boost profitability, as customers visit stores frequently and make a significant number of impulse purchases, CNBC also reported.
The retailer already captures a significant percent of market share from pharmacies, Tarlowe added. According to Jeffries research, Dollar General’s prices tend to be 40% cheaper than drugstores, 20% cheaper than grocery stores and in line with mass-market retailers.