5 big changes coming to Dollar General in 2017

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5 big changes coming to Dollar General in 2017
Image Credit: Dollar General
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With 12,719 stores in 43 states, Dollar General is known to be a great place to stretch a buck.

And now some plans are on the horizon for later this year to make that buck stretching go even further.

Read more: Best laundry detergent for your money

Here’s what’s new at Dollar General…

Below are five big changes coming in 2017 that CEO Todd Vasos discussed during DG’s earnings call on March 16.

Shoppers are sure to love these initiatives!

Fresh produce is being expanded

Dollar General has been doing fresh produce in its Dollar General Market format stores since 2003, according to spokeswoman Crystal Ghassemi. But at a store count of around 150 to 160, the Dollar General Market format represents only about 1% of DG’s portfolio.

So you’d be forgiven for not knowing that Dollar General did any fresh produce at all!

Yet as shopper tastes have changed, Dollar General has kept apace. In 2016, Dollar General introduced fresh produce into some 40 Walmart Express stores that it took over.

Now Dollar General is ready to push the fresh produce envelope even further. Look for it in about 100 more of stores this year. Meanwhile, the company has an eye towards rolling out even more fresh produce to more locations in 2018!

‘Our consumer is moving toward more of a fresh alternative, including better for you and healthier for you, [so] we believe this is the right thing to do,’ Vasos says. 

Health & beauty aids are getting a big push

Calling it a ‘large and growing department,’ Vasos says the health & beauty aids (HBA) section in Dollar General stores represent ‘a significant opportunity for us to increase our share of wallet with our customers.’

The CEO says the HBA format will get a redesign in select stores to drive consumer awareness of what Dollar General offers in this product category.

Tying into that, Dollar General recently launched a free online and limited print publication called BEAUTYCENTS Magazine. Available at select Dollar General stores, BEAUTYCENTS offers beauty and health advice, how-to guides and affordable fashion suggestions.

Look for Twinkies ice cream at a Dollar General near you!

hostess twinkies ice cream dollar general According to convenience store trade publication CSP Magazine, you can now get a pint of ice cream featuring Hostess CupCakes, Sno Balls and the iconic Twinkies exclusively at Dollar General.

But their monopoly on the pints will only last for a few weeks; you’ll be able to grab Twinkies ice cream at your local convenience stores later next month.

‘Twinkies Ice Cream features sweet buttercream-flavored ice cream, sponge cake pieces and a vanilla frosting swirl,’ according to CSP Magazine. ‘CupCakes Ice Cream combines chocolate ice cream, cake pieces and a cream frosting swirl’

And for you Sno Balls lovers? You’ll get to enjoy ‘a marshmallow-flavored ice cream with chocolate cake pieces and a whipped coconut swirl.’

More DGX stores are coming to serve millennials

Dollar General is making a play to reach millennials in metro areas with a new store format that’s hip, young and fresh. It’s called DGX.

While a normal sized Dollar General can be anywhere between 6,000 and 7,300 square feet, DGXs are roughly half that square footage.

These 3,400 square foot spaces marry Dollar General’s traditional merchandise with a quick-serve mentality. Think gas-station store convenience and an easy checkout experience.

So you can pick up grab-and-go sandwiches and a drink from the soda fountain or the coffee station alongside merchandise in the home, electronics and seasonal categories.

The first DGX stores are now open in Nashville and Raleigh, North Carolina. Two more DGXs will be coming on board this year, though Vasos did not reveal in which cities.

‘The DGX format is geared to meet the needs of our millennial shoppers, which are an emerging and important part of our customer base, and will help us broaden our appeal to attract a new segment of urban customers who put a high premium on value and convenience,’ the CEO says.

Dollar General will continue to remain among the cheapest places to shop

With health care’s impact on your bottom line remaining a big question, Dollar General remains committed to giving you the best value for your buck in 2017 and beyond.

Retail consulting firm Kantar recently named Dollar General one of the two cheapest retailers in the country, alongside Walmart.

In fact, Dollar General was 99 cents cheaper than Walmart on 11 staple purchases, according to Kantar’s research.

Take a look here:

Edible groceries

Study: Dollar General and Walmart are least expensive retailers

Non-edible groceries

Study: Dollar General and Walmart are least expensive retailers

Health & beauty aids

Study: Dollar General and Walmart are least expensive retailers

‘Given the pressures on income and spending, regardless of the economic outlook for our customers, we will do everything we can to provide them with the value and convenience they expect from Dollar General,’ Vasos says.

Read more: Need extra cash? Here’s how I earned $1,500 using these 3 apps

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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