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07/07/2021

Dollar General takes steps to be health care destination

The chain has hired a chief medical officer to develop a plan for services and is increasing its assortment of health care products.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Dollar General is increasing its focus on health care products, expanding its assortment of cough and cold, dental, nutritional, medical, health aids and feminine hygiene products across several of its stores.

The retailer has more than 20 private label brands across the store, including Composure feminine products, DG Body razors and personal care products, DG Health feminine care and health care products, and Rexall OTC items.

The retailer said the move to increase health care product offerings is the first step in a journey toward increasing access to healthcare offerings across its more than 17,000 stores. Store Brands reached out for comment on whether private brands will increase.

Additionally, the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based retailer announced the appointment of Albert Wu, M.D., to be its newly created vice president, chief medical officer. Wu will develop the chain’s health care services efforts by establishing and strengthening relationships with current and prospective health care product and service providers to build a comprehensive network of affordable services for Dollar General customers, the retailer said.

“We’re excited to welcome Albert to our team and to put a greater emphasis on wellness in the communities we serve,” said Todd Vasos, CEO Dollar General. “His impressive experience brings a unique perspective to our operations and will be critical as we look to develop our health care services offering.”

Dollar General said three-quarters of the the U.S. population lives within approximately five miles of one of its stores, recognizing the unique access it has to provide health care to rural communities and areas often underserved by other retailers. 

“At Dollar General, we are always looking for new ways to serve, and our customers have told us that they would like to see increased access to affordable health care products and services in their communities,” Vasos said. “Our goal is to build and enhance affordable health care offerings for our customers, especially in the rural communities we serve.”

Wu joins Dollar General from McKinsey & Company, where he has worked since 2016. During that time, he led a team to create a total cost of care model for 250,000 rural healthcare patients; oversaw multiple hospital provider turnarounds totaling $2-5 billion in revenue; designed a digitally-driven healthcare insurance product offering; and provided guidance to analysts modeling ventilation and pharmaceutical needs to support pandemic relief efforts. Before that, Wu was an anesthesiology resident, delivering direct care to patients.