Dollar General aims for a greater presence in the healthcare sector

In what could be a competitive breakthrough for pharmacies, Dollar General has formed a committee to explore ways to expand its healthcare offering.

The discount giant said yesterday that it has created the Healthcare Advisory Panel, a body of healthcare industry experts who will serve as “thought partners” and strategists in helping Dollar General develop its strategy and better invest. own resources in the health and wellness arena.

Last July, Dollar General unveiled plans to grow its healthcare business to meet more customer needs and establish itself as a healthcare destination. The effort included a greater assortment of cough and cold, dental, nutritional, medical, health and feminine hygiene products at many Dollar General stores.

Additionally, Dollar General has hired Dr. Albert Wu from McKinsey & Co. for the new position of Vice President and Medical Director. In the role, Wu is tasked with establishing and strengthening relationships with health care product and service providers to “build a comprehensive network of convenient services for DG customers,” according to Dollar General. The retailer noted at the time that 75% of the U.S. population lives within about five miles of a Dollar General store, providing unique access to rural communities and other often underserved communities in today’s healthcare ecosystem.

“Dollar General is excited to take these bold next steps on our healthcare journey and welcomes these talented and respected professionals to our new advisory panel,” Wu said in a statement Thursday. “With the conviction of furthering our mission of ‘Serving Others’, the panel will provide guidance and prioritization of efforts in the areas of health and wellbeing at the DG. We pride ourselves on having a variety of perspectives and experiences represented on the panel, helping us better understand our customers and provide meaningful solutions to complex health care problems. “

Dollar General

Dollar General also aims to establish itself as a health and wellness destination by distributing fresh produce, now in more than 2,300 locations, in multiple stores.

Joining Wu on the Healthcare Advisory Panel, Dollar General said, are the following experts:

• Dr. Patrick Carroll, a leading physician with experience in retail health, managed care and integrated delivery networks. He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer of Vida Health and previously held Chief Medical Officer roles at Walgreens, Hims & Hers and Hartford Healthcare. His responsibilities included overseeing strategic initiatives, clinical and quality programs, and relationships between supplier groups.

• Dr. Katy Lanz, healthcare executive and entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in designing, implementing and scaling care delivery models. She now serves as chief strategy and product officer at Personal Care Medical Associates and is director of the national board for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. She previously held the position of Chief Clinical Officer at Aspire Health, which Anthem acquired in 2018.

• Dr. Von Nguyen, physician, population health expert and public health leader with experience in creating successful partnerships between organizations to improve the health and well-being of populations. He is currently Clinical Head of Public Health and Population at Google. Previously, Nguyen was medical director and senior vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and held roles of increasing responsibility in policy and strategy at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Dr. Yolanda Hill Wimberly, a visionary and leader who has created a presence on the national health scene, based on her organizational skills and the development of responsive clinical organizations and educational programs. A certified physician in pediatrics and adolescent medicine, Wimberly is senior vice president and chief health equity officer of Grady Health Systems, responsible for the strategic direction of Grady Health System in health equity. She is also a professor of pediatrics at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Given Dollar General’s huge store presence, affordable small format, and low prices, the chain’s plans to grow its healthcare business and develop healthcare services raise a major competitive challenge for pharmacies, according to analysts at Jefferies Corey. Tarlowe and Randal Konik.

“Management has repeatedly called the drug channel one of the largest donors of shares in the DG. Importantly, DG now has an expanded healthcare offering in 1,800 stores starting Q1, with plans to reach over 4,000 stores by the end of the year, “Tarlowe and Konik wrote in a research note yesterday.” This expanded healthcare offering offers up to 30% more retail space and up to 400 items more than DG’s standard offering. Meanwhile, DG has a significant price advantage, 40% less than drugstores. “.

Currently, Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, operates 18,356 stores in 47 states. For fiscal year 2022, the retailer plans to open 1,110 new stores and complete 1,750 renovations and 120 moves.

“We expect approximately 800 of our new stores in 2022 to be in our largest 8,500 square foot store format as we respond to our customers’ desire for an even wider product selection,” Chief Operating Officer Jeff Owen said in a statement. conference call with analysts on first quarter results. “With approximately 1,200 square feet of additional retail space compared to a traditional store, these larger sizes allow for expanded high-capacity chiller counts, an extended queue line and a wider assortment of products, including NCI. [non-consumables initiative]our widest range of health and beauty products and manufacturing in many stores ”.

Owen – appointed earlier this month to succeed Todd Vasos as CEO – also told analysts that Dollar General had fresh products in more than 2,300 stores by the end of the first quarter and plans to expand them to more than 3,000 stores by the end of the year. 2022.

“DG is all about convenience and value, finding ways to help disadvantaged rural communities. In this sense, the company continually seeks to improve its offering, including adding other items in the package such as products and NCI, “Tarlowe and Konik wrote in their report.” We consider DG’s continued expansion into the health space and wellness as a way to provide additional value to their customers as other big-box discounters (Walmart, Costco, etc.) have services such as opticians and pharmacy. We believe DG’s continued development of its health and wellness offering it will likely bring incremental share gains from competitors and improve store productivity in the future. “

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