Richard Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and ceo, is raising the bar on the customer experience across the discount retailer’s stores. “We’ve been working to improve presentation. Each store has to be clean, organized and easy to shop every time the customer comes in,” he said during the company’s June 2 first quarter conference call.
Among the merchandising changes implemented so far are taller shelves for important categories such as candy and snacks that add more selling space and contribute to square-foot productivity. “On a rolling year basis, our sales per square foot are now at $185, an increase of 10 percent over the year-ago period,” Dreiling said.
The idea of making upgrades started earlier in the year when Dreiling announced the company intended to change its soft goods presentation. “We’re getting closer to those fashion windows, without sticking out our necks on something that could be a little controversial with regards to its appeal,” he stated.
So far, his strategy is paying off. First quarter 2009 year-over-year sales jumped 15.7 percent to $2.78 billion.