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This Retailer Is Quickly Becoming the Most Popular Grocery Store for Many Americans

Five years ago, you likely would not have equated this corner store to a supermarket.

When city dwellers are asked where they get their groceries, Dollar General is likely one of the last places you expect to hear on their list. However, this corner store turned grocery store services many people living in rural America who otherwise wouldn't have access to fresh vegetables. Now, experts speculate that the chain could even help propel widespread vaccination deployment.

A team of public health professors from Yale University recently published a 34-page study predicting that Dollar General would be a key catalyst in ending the pandemic in America, according to the Progressive Grocer. How? The retailer has become the closest grocery store for millions of people living in the U.S., with an estimated 75% of Americans living within five miles of a location.

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The retailer has yet to disclose whether or not it will join the federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program, which would allow it to distribute vaccines to many Americans in even the most isolated places. The program already includes grocery giants like Costco, Kroger, and Walmart.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recently said the agency was looking to partner with Dollar General stores. They believe the chain's massive store footprint could be their best shot at giving Americans living in the most rural spots of the country access to the vaccine. With the exception of four states, Dollar General stores are located between 10 and 15 miles of rural communities, according to Walensky.

That means that there are more Dollar General locations in the U.S. than Walmart, Kroger, and Costco combined. The chain aggressively expanded in 2020, opening more than 1,000 new stores and remodeling another 1,670 last year alone. This year, the retailer plans to open an additional 1,050 new stores, remodel 1,750, and even relocate 100 stores.

As of 2020, Dollar General offered fresh produce in about 1,100 store locations. Now, the company plans to add perishable produce to approximately 700 more stores by the end of 2021—a move that will undoubtedly increase access to healthier foods for those who live in food deserts.

For more, be sure to check out the 10 Best Low-Carb Breads on Grocery Store Shelves.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
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