pOpshelf Proves Popular for Dollar General

New concept targets shoppers who don’t want “the guilt of overspending.”

July 22, 2021

Inside of pOpshelf Store

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn.—While 2020 was challenging for some sectors of retail, Dollar General based in Goodlettsville was among the few retailers that launched new store concepts, reports RetailDive.com.

pOpshelf is a concept devoted to consumers outside of Dollar General's core market, with one analyst who visited the store in person calling it the best new concept he’s seen in two decades. In many ways, it’s a first for the entire sector, not just Dollar General. pOpshelf focuses on seasonal and home decor, health and beauty, cleaning supplies, party goods and other categories. It combines refreshed merchandise with specials and limited-time offers.

Dollar General “saw an opportunity in the market that's being underserved," said Joseph Feldman, retail analyst and assistant director of research, Telsey Advisory Group. "I hear this a lot from the dollar stores or value-oriented retailers, that there's a number of great products out there if you could go upscale a little bit, higher than what you normally do in your core store."

Dollar General opened eight pOpshelf outlets between October 2020 and May 2021, which are about 9,000 square feet each, and the performance of those stores "far exceeded our expectations," said Jeff Owen, COO, Dollar General.

The company has accelerated its buildout of the concept and is eyeing thousands of locations across the United States.

When NACS Daily reported on plans for pOpshelf last year when the first concept opened in Tennessee, company officials said the store was designed to let customers shop “without the guilt of overspending.”

With pOpshelf, Dollar General is looking beyond the general fare offered at its traditional outlets. Its goal is to sell trendy brands and products, creating a treasure hunt experience inside the stores. Mushkin’s firm estimates that at least 50% of a pOpshelf’s store sales are likely to come from higher margin categories.

Within the organization, pOpshelf has a dedicated procurement team, which tries "to leverage core competencies from DG to support pOpshelf, including collective buying power with vendors for the benefit of the customer," a company spokesperson said. Dollar General sees opportunities for cross-learning in the respective merchandising of its core and pOpshelfbanners, as well.

Dollar stores represent a competitive retail strategy that often go up against c-stores. To learn more about the rivalry, read “The Buck Stops Where?” in NACS Magazine.

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