NASHVILLE—What if Amazon Go was a full convenience store, with food that people actually wanted to buy?
That’s what I thought of Goodlettsville, TN-based Dollar General’s BB #:172794 newest DGX store in Downtown Nashville. This just opened this summer, and is promoting its fresh produce options heavily, with a nifty flag out front and big signs by the registers.
I visited another DGX location in Nashville the day before over by Vanderbilt University, but found no produce – only a fantastic selection of beer. Go figure.
This format launched in 2017 as a Millennial-focused, scaled-down urban setting, and ten more reportedly are slated to open in 2019. The produce department present in the store I visited looks a lot like the mockups I’ve seen from the company’s DG Traditional Plus remodels. To date, about 550 of Dollar General’s 16,000+ stores have fresh produce. This is a trend to watch, as Dollar General executives keep saying remodels with fresh produce outperform traditional stores.
I’ve seen Dollar General Market, a larger banner with a full fresh produce department, so I was very curious to see what the scaled down version looked like in action.
I wasn’t disappointed. Altogether, there was about 20 feet of fresh produce options, from salads in the grab-and-go meal section to a modest reefer case and about 6 feet of unrefrigerated fresh produce.
It had everything you’d need in an urban setting. There were bananas, berries, apples, salads, avocados, tomatoes, lemon and lime juice, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, grapes – all of a produce department’s greatest hits. The only one that was a miss was the pouch bag stone fruit that wasn’t having a good time in the cooler.
And this is just the produce department. This store had PLENTY of other SKUs, from center store food to beauty and household goods. This store, minus the fancy gadgets, puts the Amazon Go stores I’ve seen to shame. The Amazon Go stores I’ve visited didn’t even have bananas.
And it has Dollar General’s own DG GO self-checkout technology.
Color me impressed.