How do you shop? Has it changed in the last decade? I find myself price checking items in stores against Amazon or other online retailers. If I can save money and can wait two or three days for the item to arrive, I’m guilty of making a frugal business decision and ordering online. I have clients who haven’t been in a grocery store in a long time thanks to services like click list, curb side pickups, and home delivery. Food delivery services are creating space in restaurants too. My wife and I were out for a dinner date just two weeks ago and were nervous about the Saturday night 7:00 wait at a popular restaurant. We were surprised to be seated within 10 minutes. The modern shopping conveniences have their impact though. This week’s Weekly Market Review details the number of retail store closures so far this year. With closures at this pace, online shopping may soon be the only convenient option for folks in rural communities. Just today, Fred’s announced it will be closing all remaining stores; you can read more about the announcement from Fred’s here. One retailer that continues to grow and thrive is Dollar General whose stock price hit an all-time high last Friday. The company started in Scottsville, KY and now headquartered in Nashville, TN continues to have an aggressive growth in the number of locations and primarily focuses on selling consumable goods (products that get used up or discarded and must be purchased repeatedly) which represent 77.5% of sales. They have an interesting business model focusing on rural areas and trying not to compete head to head with stores like Wal-Mart. Here is a good article about Dollar General’s growth formula; will Dollar General be immune to the changing ways we now shop? As always, we hope you find the WMR both informative and interesting. Have a nice week.
Trevor N. Coe, CFP