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Dollar General will open more than 1,000 stores this year and expand its Popshelf brand


An indication inside a Dollar General retailer in Chicago.

Jim Young | Reuters

Dollar General is doubling down on brick-and-mortar by constructing larger stores and increasing Popshelf, a brand new chain aimed toward higher-income, suburban prospects.

On Thursday, the discounter laid out aggressive plans for the fiscal year that referred to as for the corporate to open 1,050 stores, transform 1,750 websites and relocate 100 others.

As it builds new stores, consumers will see bigger gross sales flooring and more merchandise. They’ll additionally discover more branding for Popshelf, which the retailer debuted within the fall. The firm is testing each new places and utilizing the brand to create a retailer inside a retailer.

Sales of grocery staples and family necessities helped drive Dollar General’s gross sales development all through the pandemic as shoppers cooked more at house and watched their price range throughout a interval of financial uncertainty. Its same-store gross sales rose by 16.3% within the fiscal year.

In current months, nonetheless, shares of pandemic beneficiaries — together with Dollar General — have fallen as traders wager that Americans will divert their {dollars} towards eating out and touring as soon as they get vaccinated. On a Thursday earnings name, Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos made the case why traders ought to proceed to wager on the corporate. He mentioned the retailer can enhance earnings by rising its footprint, promoting more non-consumable gadgets which have greater margins than meals and interesting to a broader vary of shoppers.

Chief Operating Officer Jeff Owen mentioned the retailer estimates it might add as many as 17,000 stores throughout the nation — a transfer that may roughly double its footprint.

“Overall, our real estate pipeline remains robust and we are excited about the significant new store opportunities ahead,” he mentioned.

As Dollar General provides, remodels and relocates stores, Owen mentioned, it will improve the sq. footage of its gross sales flooring to make more room for coolers of produce and recent meat, an even bigger assortment of well being and magnificence merchandise and extra checkout lanes.

Vasos mentioned Dollar General examined the bigger retailer codecs in 2020 and discovered they outperformed the remainder of the chain with greater gross sales. It already has some bigger stores with a wider assortment of meals and common merchandise.

Dollar General plans to have 50 Popshelf stores by the tip of the fiscal year, more than its unique purpose of 30, Owen mentioned.

Popshelf retailer

Source: Popshelf

The retailer opened the primary two Popshelf stores within the fall close to Nashville, Tennessee. Popshelf sells house decor, magnificence gadgets, cleansing provides and get together items, with virtually all gadgets costing $5 or much less. Its goal buyer has an annual family revenue starting from $50,000 to $125,000 — greater than the $35,000 to $40,000 annual family revenue of a typical Dollar General buyer, in keeping with the corporate.

Owen mentioned the Popshelf stores provide “a fun, affordable and differentiated treasure hunt experience delivered through continually refreshed merchandise.” He mentioned the corporate desires to expand from its present 5 stores quicker than it deliberate due to outcomes it noticed.

Dollar General will kick off a pilot that blends collectively its namesake brand and Popshelf, he mentioned. At 25 stores, prospects will see indicators for each labels on the entrance. Inside, Popshelf will be prominently featured within the heart as a store-in-store, he mentioned.

The exams will deal with areas the place buyer demographics are someplace between these of Dollar General and Popshelf — with a $50,000 to $75,000 family revenue vary, Vasos mentioned.

“If it works — and we believe it will — there could be some additional ones that we do in 2022 and many more as we continue to move forward,” he mentioned.

Shares of the corporate have risen about 21% over the previous year, as of Wednesday’s shut. They had been down by much less than 5% on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, the corporate posted fourth-quarter earnings that missed estimates and forecast same-store gross sales would decline 4% to six% within the coming fiscal year towards the unusually excessive gross sales ranges brought on by the pandemic. Looking over a two-year interval, Dollar General’s forecast implies 10% to 12% annual same-store gross sales good points.



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