Dollar General has plans to build a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in North Little Rock, Ark., that will create 300 new jobs. The $140 million facility is expected to open in April, reports the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and will help Dollar General sell fresh produce in more area retail stores.
A Dollar General corporate spokesperson said the new facility will store fresh items in addition to its traditional nonperishable products. Similar distribution sites are under way near Denver and in Oregon, the official said.
Dollar General began selling fresh produce in 10 of its Little Rock stores last year, operating in many economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and rural communities that otherwise lack access to these sources.
There are now 12 Dollar General stores in the Little Rock area that now sell fresh produce, and the discount chain is making plans to sell fresh fruits and vegetables in 5,000 stores in the U.S. by the end of January 2024. Dollar General CEO Jeff Owen said that this expansion will give the company more points of produce distribution than any other mass retailer or grocer in the U.S.
The spokesperson also said that Dollar General is expanding fresh produce sales to 10,000 stores (many also designated food deserts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture). Currently, Dollar General has 19,200 stores.