For years, critics have accused dollar store chains of driving out existing competition, discouraging new grocers from opening, and failing to offer the same healthy food assortment that such competitors do. Dollar General and Family Dollar are taking steps to address the controversy, slowly rolling out fresh food offerings in stores. Dollar General says that 1,300 of its stores currently feature a produce department, with such departments coming to 1,000 more stores in 2021. According to the chain, that number could rise to 10,000 stores in the future. As for Family Dollar, the dollar store chain is adding fresh produce and frozen meats to about 100 stores.
Chains have good reason to introduce perishable food: there's demand for it.