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Dollar General Positions Itself as Serious Competitor to Traditional Grocers

Retailer surpasses milestone of 5,000+ stores nationwide offering fresh produce
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Dollar General Produce
With more individual points of produce distribution than any other U.S. mass retailer or grocer, Dollar General provides access to fresh produce in thousands of communities.

Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. has surpassed its latest milestone, now offering fresh produce options in more than 5,000 stores across the country. With this achievement, the company says it has more individual points of produce distribution than any other U.S. mass retailer or grocer.

As first revealed in the company’s Q4 2022 earnings last March, Dollar General has continued to make strides toward reaching this milestone, and now, more than 5,000 stores also carry the top 20 items typically sold in traditional grocery stores, which cover approximately 80% of the produce categories that most grocery stores traditionally provide.

[RELATED: “Are Dollar Stores a Threat to Traditional Supermarkets?”]

Dollar General stores that carry produce offer consumers a curated assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, apples, strawberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemons, limes, salad mixes, and more.

While the company isn’t considered a grocer, approximately 80% of Dollar General stores serve communities of 20,000 or fewer people, with many Americans, especially in rural areas, relying on the retailer for their basic, everyday and household essentials.

“We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our customers, and one of our top priorities is to ensure the communities we call home have access to fresh, affordable and convenient food options,” said Emily Taylor, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Dollar General. “We have exceeded our goal of having 5,000 total stores with fresh produce by January 2024. We’re proud to leverage our footprint to meet the need for healthy food options in more communities than any other retailer across the U.S.”

Additionally, Dollar General recently invested in a partnership with Shelf Engine, an AI company providing retailers with technology to improve perishable food forecasting and ordering. The partnership will optimize in-stock produce levels, helping automate the ordering process while providing customers with the freshest food possible.

Dollar General rolled out its “Food First” initiative in 2023. The initiative includes the customer feedback-driven expansion of its private label brand, Clover Valley, welcoming more than 100 new items to shelves, including a wide range of entrees, sides, sauces, condiments, snacks and more at affordable price points.

As of Nov. 3, Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General operated 19,726  Dollar General, DG Market, DGX and pOpshelf stores across the United States, and Mi Súper Dollar General stores in Mexico. The company is No. 16 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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