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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Groceries appear to agree with Dollar General. The nation's largest dollar store chain is expanding its grocery/general merchandise test concept, called Dollar General Market, into the Florida market, reports the Orlando Sentinel.
DG Market is a combo store with fresh produce, milk, meats and other groceries added to Dollar General's usual mix of low-price general merchandise.
The new store will open in Orlando next month.
"The idea is one-stop shopping," spokeswoman Tawn Earnest told the Sentinel. "It appeals to the same shopper who is already attracted to Dollar General, but extends what that shopper can buy."
Dollar General, which operates a total of 7,300 stores, launched the DG Market concept in 2003 near its Nashville headquarters. By the end of 2004, it had 15 DG Markets, mostly in small towns with little competition. "We seek out underserved communities," Earnest told the Sentinel. "We have designed a small store on purpose, so you can get in and out more quickly than you would elsewhere."
The Orlando store, which is scheduled to open July 2, replaces a former Kash 'n Karry store, which closed last year. At 18,000-sq.-ft, DG Market is about twice the size of a conventional Dollar General, which typically occupies 7,000 to 9,500 square feet. About half the space is devoted to groceries.
Indicative of the company's high hopes for the concept: the new Orlando store is one of 30 DG Markets planned for this year.
Like the larger supercenters, Dollar General is using food to attract more visits from customers than its general merchandise only stores. The retailer has been adding more food and consumable SKUs to its traditional dollar stores over the past two years and it has installed coolers in more than 90% of its stores.
It will be interesting to see how DG Market fares in Orlando, which is the most competitive market the concept has encountered in its short history.