We’re in the midst of a retail renaissance, a time when retailers and brands continue to explore new pathways for marketing, unique sales channels, and an evolving supply chain. We’ve seen some truly innovative moves, but also we’ve seen those who fail to innovate, or even just keep up with the times, continue to be left behind - or even disappear. And while more stores had been shuttered by August of this year than in all of 2018, Dollar General (NYSE: DG) is managing to thrive. The budget retailer has reported 29 consecutive years of same-store growth, with same-store sales increasing 4.0% in the second quarter of this year. This dark horse discount chain has been quietly chugging along for decades, and is now in the process of opening 975 new stores this year, in addition to remodeling 1000 locations and relocating another 100. According to Business Insider, its prices are generally 20%-40% lower than grocery and drug stores, attracting cost-conscious consumers.
But it’s more than lower prices that have enabled Dollar General to thrive, particularly with Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) offering low prices and fast shipping. The retailer has taken a number of steps to remain top-of-mind and insert itself into consumers’ shopping habits. I’ve highlighted some of the best practices that Dollar General has been employing to quietly innovate in the face of behemoths like Amazon and Walmart (NYSE: WMT) in ways that go beyond just cheap prices. Dollar General’s approach speaks to its unique niche and business strategy, which aligns with the most important sales lesson of all: know your customer.