Dollar General’s Very Interesting Move

Recent news has been full of information about new retail formats. There are showcase stores (think B8ta),  Kroger’s grocerants, and experiential retail (think Marvel: Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N to name just a few.

All of these are interesting, but it is Dollar General that has caught my eye. Founded in 1939, Dollar General has 16,000 outlets, all catering to low-income shoppers. They are one of the few bricks and mortar retailers having a strong year (up 19% second quarter over the first quarter).

Dollar General, however, is not content. The retailer is planning to open thirty stores (two are already open) this year carrying the PopsShelf brand. Here is how Dollar General describes its new format:

This new store aims to engage customers with a fun, affordable and stress-free shopping experience where they can find on-trend seasonal and home décor, health and beauty must-haves, home cleaning supplies, party goods, entertaining needs and much more—with approximately 95 percent of items priced at $5 or less!

The stores target women with household incomes running between $50,000 and $125,000 a year. By keeping the prices low and the assortments rich, the company wants to provide consumers with a “guilt-free shopping experience.”

I see Dollar General taking this approach because the company sees a gap in the retail landscape. There is nothing of any consequence that exists between their Dollar General stores, and Walmart. They see an opportunity to provide women with a chance to do low-impact shopping in an upscale environment that features low prices. People will enjoy getting in and getting out without a hassle as the stores are small, 9,000 square feet compared to Walmart’s 180,000.

Keep your eye on this store concept. It could create a whole new shopping tier.


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