Dollar Chains Bring Produce to Some Stores

June 3, 2021
Dollar stores, the fastest-growing segment among CPG retailers, are renewing a push to include fresh food in at least some of their stores.

Dollar stores, the fastest-growing segment among CPG retailers, are renewing a push to include fresh food in at least some of their stores.

Selling perishable food has been a goal of Dollar General and its competitors intermittently for years, but CNN reports that a new drive for fresh food is under way. Dollar General plans to add 1,000 stores this year to the more than 1,300 locations that sell some fresh food. Its long-term goal is to extend produce sales to 10,000 of its 17,000 stores, CNN says. Family Dollar started selling produce including apples, oranges and potatoes in 100 stores last week.

The dollar chains have recognized for years that fresh food is a potential draw, especially in neighborhoods without supermarkets or other places to buy produce. But fresh food has a complicated supply chain and is labor-intensive to stock, which goes against the chains’ model of wringing every dollar out of operational costs.

The chains are in part responding to a backlash by critics who say they drive out regular food retailers by undercutting prices for canned/dry goods. Municipalities including Oklahoma City and New Orleans have passed laws restricting their growth.

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