In a move it says is driven by customers who want more convenient and affordable health care products and services, Dollar General will join an army of retail competitors that are intent on becoming a health care destination.
The discounter plans to add either larger or remodeled stores in more than 1,000 locations this year as it makes room for additional aisles of health care products and food. All told, the company has more than 17,400 stores across the nation, with many serving rural areas.
In a further indication of its plans to focus on health care, Dollar General in July hired Albert Wu, M.D., an anesthesiologist, as its chief medical officer. Wu formerly worked for McKinsey & Company beginning in 2016, where he led a team that focused on health care-related projects, including:
- Creating a total-cost-of-care model for 250,000 rural health care patients.
- Designing a digitally driven health care insurance product.
- Providing guidance to analysts modeling ventilation and pharmaceutical needs to support pandemic relief efforts.
The company also began offering free COVID-19 testing at select locations through a partnership with the Virginia Department of Health.
Some are speculating that it’s only a matter of time until deep discounters like Dollar General, Dollar Tree and others add retail pharmacy services to their stores.