Dollar General to open 1k stores aimed at wealthier, more suburban shoppers

Popshelf retail brand to grow from 30 current locations by end of 2025

Todd Vasos, CEO, Dollar General (Dollar General, Popshelf, iStock)
Todd Vasos, CEO, Dollar General (Dollar General, Popshelf, iStock)

Suburban shoppers beware: a Popshelf location could soon be coming to a location near you.

Dollar General is aiming to operate about 1,000 Popshelf stores by the end of the 2025 fiscal year, CNBC reported. As of late October, there are 30 locations operating in six states.

The retailer launched the Popshelf brand in 2020, aiming to draw in higher-income customers. The stores encompass around 9,000 square feet and carry more nonconsumable items, such as home decor, craft supplies and beauty products. Items are still inexpensive — most are priced at $5 or below — but not as cheap as Dollar General’s traditional offerings.

The company said its target consumers are women living in the suburbs with an annual household income between $50,000 and $125,000, CNBC reported.

Dollar General aims to open 100 Popshelf locations during the next fiscal year, including its first in Texas in the spring, according to CNBC. The company aims to open more than 1,100 stores across its various brands in the next fiscal year and plans to expand into Mexico with 10 stores by the end of fiscal 2022.

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Dollar General’s attempt to scale its newest brand comes as its competitor Dollar Tree is set to pass on more costs to customers, especially in light of supply chain issues and inflation. The brand announced in late November it plans on raising the price of many goods from $1 to $1.25.

Dollar General largely bucked the brick-and-mortar retail struggles exacerbated by the pandemic, opening more than 1,000 stores in 2020 and aiming for another 1,050 new locations in 2021. The retailer also reported same-store sales growth of 16.3 percent last year.

But a drawback in demand was expected and Zacks Equity Research in April predicted a same-store decline in sales between 4 and 6 percent in 2021. According to CNBC, Dollar General said it expects same-store sales to drop between 2.5 and 3 percent this fiscal year, better than Zacks’ forecast, but enough to briefly bring down shares about 3 percent as of early Thursday.

[CNBC] — Holden Walter-Warner