If you have traveled through towns and cities in the U.S. with small populations, you have likely seen the trend of Dollar General Corp. DG stores popping up there. The retailer has capitalized on a business plan of serving these sometimes overlooked communities. New plans for Dollar General look to make the retailer the next great corner pharmacy.
What Happened: Retailer Dollar General announced plans to increase access to healthcare products and services at its stores.
This includes increasing the assortment of cough and cold, dental, nutritional, medical, health aids and feminine hygiene products at its stores.
“This effort marks the first major step in Dollar General’s strategic journey toward increasing access to healthcare offerings,” according to the company.
Dollar General also named Albert Wu, M.D. to the newly created chief medical officer role. In the role, Wu will develop new health care services and build out the product assortment.
Related Link: Stock Wars: CVS Health Vs. Walgreens Boots Alliance
Why It’s Important: Dollar General ended the first quarter with 17,426 stores in 46 states. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Dollar General store.
The stores are often used as a last-minute shopping location or when there is a particular item you need without making a trip to a larger big-box retailer.
With the new healthcare focus, Dollar General could be similar to a pharmacy where you go to make a quick purchase of a healthcare item and may grab some other items while in the store.
The additional healthcare items could put Dollar General in direct competition with pharmacies such as CVS Health Corp CVS, Rite Aid Corporation RAD and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc WBA.
The introduction of a chief medical officer could be foreshadowing to Dollar General pushing further into healthcare. The retailer could look to have some form of walk-in clinics or telehealth options in the future to provide value to its customers.
Dollar General reported first-quarter sales of $8.4 billion, down 0.6% year-over-year. The company raised its full-year guidance for fiscal 2021 with expectations of revenue in a range of -1% to +1%, up from prior guidance of -2% to flat.
DG Price Action: Dollar General shares are up 1.60% to $221.90 on Wednesday at publication.
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