Now that Dollar General operates more than 17,408 stores in 46 states you would think they would act like most legacy brand retailers but they don’t. Dollar General since its inception has sought after a product and price point differentiation that consumers have been migrating too according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
While most legacy grocery retailer’s stores look more like 1995 than 2022 food retailers, Dollar General customer know that their stores look more like a 2022 food retailer than a Dollar Store of 2010, 2015, or 2020. So, what’s up with that? According to Johnson, “outstanding C-level leadership, that rewards risk, values customers, delivers on brand messaging.”
There is no doubt a large swath of consumers admit they do not like change either. What consumers do like is spending less time in a grocery store, and paying less for branded products. Customer migration continues to tilt in the direction Dollar General and away from legacy grocery stores.
So, Dollar General's top merchandising priority in recent years has been the addition of freezer and cooler space in new and remodeled stores to facilitate the addition of more refrigerated and frozen products, according to the report. Its stores that offer fresh produce provide the top 20 items typically sold in grocery stores and approximately 80 percent of the produce categories carried by most grocers Dollar General press reports state.
Now, Dollar General Corp. plans to add produce at up to 10,000 stores over the next few years, up from approximately 1,300 locations that currently offer produce for sale. So, who needs to go to a grocery store now that Dollar General can feed you for less and help you get in and out of the store faster.
In conjunction with the news of its fresh food expansion, Dollar General announced a new partnership with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. In conjunction with the partnership, the operator made a $1 million donation to the organization to provide access to food resources in rural and otherwise underserved communities and to proactively address food insecurity across the country.
This move helps drive customer relevance in both messaging and deeds. Dollar General’s work with Feeding America builds on existing efforts by providing in-kind donations of perishable foods to help nourish and feed those in need. At full capacity, Dollar General will provide up to 20 million meals a year, according to Vasos. Grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh food is in most Dollar General stores today, that’s why they look more like a food retailer of 2022 than most legacy grocery stores.
Is your food retail brand evolving or clinging to the past? Customers evolve, points of distribution evolve, and retailers that don’t evolve with the consumers are simply built to fall.
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