MERCED, Calif. - Dollar General is going after the grocery business in a bigger way, the Wall Street Journal reports. The midsize Dollar General Market stores will soon stock more fresh food and refrigerated products.
The midsize store category is becoming more crowded lately, as Target, Walmart and other big-box retailers roll out smaller versions, while drugstores have increased packaged food, cleaning products and pet food to their product lists.
Retailers are racing to become "the new general store," said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General CEO, a nod to a store that offers nearly all essentials at a low price in a smaller footprint. Dollar General Markets top 16,000 square feet, making the locations small but still double the size of a dollar store. Dollar General will launch around 40 Dollar General Markets in the next 12 months, with many in food deserts.
The chain thinks that its Markets will fuel future growth, but now is focusing on finding the right formula. "They are a good opportunity for growth where they fit," said Dreiling. "But we're trying to be analytical and thoughtful, eating the elephant one bite at a time instead of swallowing the whole thing."
Dollar General isn€™t the only discount dollar store going after grocery store customers. Family Dollar Stores has updated stores and increased its offerings of food and store brands, as well as adding hundreds of stores each year.