Dollar General is partnering with Shelf Engine for a national rollout of its automated artificial intelligence (AI) ordering technology for produce. By the end of fiscal year 2023, Dollar General expects to have the AI technology implemented in approximately 3,000 stores.
This national expansion follows a successful two-phased pilot that began December 2022 of Shelf Engine’s technology in more than 400 Dollar General stores. The company provides retailers with technology to improve perishable food forecasting and ordering. Its AI-driven platform is designed to generate orders, with a goal of optimizing in-stock levels that directly contribute to providing Dollar General customers with the freshest food possible.
“Adopting Shelf Engine’s AI solutions aligns seamlessly with our mission of Serving Others, helping our teams enhance value and convenience for our customers,” stated Allen Warch, vice president, division merchandise manager with leadership of fresh merchandise at Dollar General. “This collaboration is a strategic step towards improving our operational efficiency while serving our customers with improved in-stock levels of fresh produce.”
As this tool continues to roll out, it will support the company on its meaningful produce growth journey while improving operational efficiency. Dollar General has recently surpassed its latest milestone, now offering fresh produce options in more than 5,000 stores across the country. With this achievement, the retailer has more individual points of produce distribution than any other U.S. mass retailer or grocer.
“We are constantly looking for ways to better serve our customers and one of our top priorities is to ensure the communities we call home have access to fresh, affordable, and convenient food options,” said Emily Taylor, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Dollar General. “We have exceeded our goal of having 5,000 total stores with fresh produce by January 2024. We’re proud to leverage our footprint to meet the need for healthy food options in more communities than any other retailer across the U.S.”
Approximately 80% of Dollar General stores serve communities of 20,000 or fewer people, and residents in these communities often rely on the retailer for their everyday essentials including groceries.