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DG looking at HBA marketshare expansion as significant growth opportunity

BY Michael Johnsen
GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – Dollar General is looking to drive future growth in part by capturing more health and beauty trips, Todd Vasos, Dollar General CEO and director, told analysts Thursday. "Health and beauty is one of our categories that we're the least penetrated in today," Vasos said. "And with that said, there's really a lot of opportunity. Because of our convenient nature, our consumers are asking us for more and more of our health and beauty offering."
 
Dollar General introduced a new store layout in February, Vasos said, that streamlines the presentation in such a way that it allows for the expansion of merchandising dedicated to health and beauty without sacrificing too much space dedicated to another category. "The layout is designed to expand high-growth traffic-building categories in a more customer-friendly format with faster checkout. While it's still early, the results of this DG16 layout are very encouraging as our sales performance is meeting our expectations," he said. 
 
"The new store design opened up some opportunity for us in that we didn't have to take out a lot of product to be able to put some of that health and beauty initiative in," Vasos explained. In some cases, there is a pullback in soft goods like apparel. "Apparel does get pulled down somewhat in this model," Vasos said. "But we don't see our apparel business slowing down as we go into 2016. Matter of fact, we're pretty bullish on apparel," he said. "Cindy Long and her team have done a real nice job in giving us a very competitive offering there."
 
Dollar General's health and beauty expansion, in some stores, could go upwards of 16 feet, featuring a healthy mix of national brand and store brand. 
 
"I think when you couple all that together, I think this should be a real win for our consumers at Dollar General," Vasos said. 
 
Looking ahead, Dollar General anticipates opening 900 new stores, including about 80 of the smaller format stores, and relocating or remodeling an additional 875 locations in fiscal 2016. "Our real estate program is the foundation of our growth, with a proven high-return, low-risk model. We are disciplined and focused on financial returns. We are very optimistic about our new store outlook for 2016," Vasos said. 
 
 

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Report: Millennial homebuyers go suburban

BY DSN STAFF
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What’s Next: Interactive beauty tech

BY Lonni Delane

Beauty tech brands Hone and FaceCake are creating ways to drive customer interaction and conversation through technology, with the added benefit of intelligence gathering that can be referenced, cataloged and translated into future sales. Beauty consumers — heavy buyers in particular — are typically looking for an experience in their shopping as much as a way to cover a blemish or look more refreshed, and these companies specialize in delivering that experience through technology.

This week, FaceCake launched its CAKE shopping platform with makeup brand Cargo Cosmetics. CAKE enables online users to virtually try on products in real-time using a webcam and any desktop or mobile browser. CAKE can be used on CargoCosmetics.com with the brand’s extensive catalog of products, including the Essential Lip Colors line and Eye Shadow Singles. It is a breakthrough in allowing consumers to have an in-store experience online.

FaceCake bridges the best of in-store and online shopping into one with a core business of providing consumers with realistic virtual Try-Ons in everything from eye shadow to sunglasses, allowing them to “Find, Try, Share, and Buy.”

FaceCake not only partners with brands and retailers, but also offers some of its own properties such as a free download app called ShadeScout, which allows consumers to capture any color of interest to them with their camera, find products that match that color and even try the products on live using their mobile device as a mirror. They have technologies for both mobile and in-store.

Hone specializes in creating consumer intelligence-gathering apps cleverly disguised as fun surveys.

“Hone is a digital media technology platform built to create engaging content online,” said Jamie Teahan, VP of Client Services. “In doing that you garner audience segmentation data, behavioral data, demographical data – but done in a fun, engaging way without users really knowing that you are doing that. Clients gather information through quizzes, polls and surveys. They are very customizable and personalized so that the look and feel of the Hone is extremely native to the client and the publisher base.”

Teahan also noted that one of the key features of Hone is its mobile capability. “You build a Hone once and it’s dynamic to any screen size – desktop, tablet, cellphone,” Teahan said.

Last year at Cosmoprof, Hone was an integral part of the show and marketing director Daniela Ciocan’s ongoing mission to showcase the latest in beauty technology. Ciocan told DSN, "The beauty industry is no stranger to the emerging tech boom. In fact, many new apps and devices that have surfaced over the years have exhibited at our show.”

Hone integrated their brand by creating surveys just for the show. Each day they invited attendees to answer a different question via tablets provided by the Hone team. They also created the technology for the Audience Choice segment of the Beauty Pitch competition, allowing the audience to vote for a winner from the five competitors via mobile devices and tallying the votes in real time.

Hone has had great success with online content creators, such as Refinery29 and Teen Vogue, allowing their readers to sound off on hot-button topics and reveal their personality in surveys that easily lend themselves to sharing and promotion across all social media platforms, and having great results in driving traffic to the websites and boosting the time spent on the sites to upward of 30 minutes. Hone is also able to bring this dynamic to beauty brands, with their team handling every aspect of the design as well as content and copy.

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