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Dollar General Aims To Become ‘Health Destination’ With Expanded Product Selection

Dollar General intends to grow its healthcare offerings to satisfy more of its shoppers’ needs and turn itself into a “health destination.” The retailer plans to bolster its collection of dental, cough and cold, medical, nutritional, feminine hygiene products and health aids throughout a number of its locations, according to a Wednesday (July 7) announcement.

Dollar General says that three-quarters of the U.S. population reside within five miles of one of its 17,000+ retail locations. As a result, the firm understands the “unique access” it gives rural areas that are many times underserved by other merchants in addition to the healthcare ecosystem that is already in place.

“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 healthcare products and services in their communities,” Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said in the announcement. “Our goal is to build and enhance affordable healthcare offerings for our customers, especially in the rural communities we serve.”

Moreover, Dollar General has appointed Albert Wu, M.D. to serve as vice president and chief medical officer – a newly created position. Wu will help to build out the retailer’s new health care services efforts “by establishing and strengthening relationships with current and prospective healthcare product and service providers to build a comprehensive network of affordable services,” according to the announcement.

Wu comes to the retailer from McKinsey & Company, where he has been employed as of 2016. Previously, Wu served as an anesthesiology resident. He reports to Dollar General Chief Operating Officer Jeff Owen.

“We’re excited to welcome [Wu] to our team and to put a greater emphasis on wellness in the communities we serve,” Vasos said in the announcement.

The news comes as Walmart is launching “the first-ever private brand analog insulin” after introducing a medication savings program and revealing a deal to buy a telehealth provider.

“We know many people with diabetes struggle to manage the financial burden of this condition, and we are focused on helping by providing affordable solutions,” Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president, Walmart Health & Wellness, said in a June announcement.

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