Home Issue 2017-06-09 Dollar General test-driving fresh produce at more stores

Dollar General test-driving fresh produce at more stores

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With 13,601 stores in 44 states, Dollar General Corp. has the potential to become a massive mover of fresh produce and the company is testing just that at some of its recently renovated locations.

Todd Vasos, CEO of the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based, said in a quarterly earnings conference call last week the move is part of a wider strategy of expanding its line of perishable products.

Dollar General’s Market stores already carry fresh produce; the success of those offerings led the company to test-drive produce in some of its renovated stores.

The remodeling of about 300 traditional stores based on lessons learned from the conversion of acquired sites last year is on track, Vasos reported. The renovations include increasing cooler sets to 34 doors, an upgrade of roughly 160% from current formats. Since that move allows for a greater perishable assortment — which helps drive trips and basket size – the company is testing fresh produce at about 100 of those locations.

Vasos said early results show strong increases in same-store sales carrying fresh items.

Dollar General reported a net sales increase of 6.5% for first quarter of fiscal 2017, ended May 5. Sales were $5.61 billion compared with $5.27 billion a year ago. Same store sales increased by 0.7%.

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