Dollar General to open new higher-end stores in the suburbs

Dollar General is expanding to the suburbs in hopes of reaching wealthier customers.

Known for rock-bottom prices, the retailer is opening two new Popshelf locations in the Nashville area in the coming weeks. By the end of the year, 30 additional Popshelf stores will be opened around the country.

As of now, most Dollar General stores are in rural areas that do not have the populations to sustain larger retailers, like Walmart, along with some locations in suburban and rural settings.

Local jurisdictions, such as Birmingham and Oklahoma City, have attempted to regulate the items sold at discount stores, blaming them for their residents’ poor diets and rising obesity rates.

Popshelf stores will sell home and beauty products priced around $5 and geared towards female customers earning between $50,000 and $125,000 per year. Each store is expected to be roughly 9,000 square feet, larger than the usual Dollar General convenience store.

Dollar General’s chief merchandising officer Emily Taylor told CNBC that the store’s merchandise will be changed frequently in efforts to surprise customers who make trips to the store.

The company began working on the new line of stores roughly two years ago, said Taylor to the Wall Street Journal. However, executives were not interested in changing course due to the pandemic.

Dollar General stores saw an 18 percent sales increase during the second and third quarters of 2020.

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