Dollar General (NYSE: DG) CEO Todd Vasos said Wednesday that the company is looking to expand into the healthcare industry. Vasos claims the novelty emerged after realizing about 65% of its stores were located in “health deserts.”
According to the company, it plans to make its locations healthcare destinations by introducing telemedicine, prescription delivery and pick-up, as well as mail order prescription, Vasos said on an earnings call.
“What we’re going to be squarely focused on … are those services that rural America today especially doesn’t have access to,” Vasos said. “We talk a lot about grocery desserts or food deserts. There’s as equal health care deserts out there across the U.S. and we’re in all of these communities.”
Approxiamtley 75% of Americans live within a five mile radius of a Dollar General location, according to the retailer. For some rural residents, Dollar General is their main grocery store. Ultimately, some rural areas require customers to drive great distances to receive medical care, Vasos said.
“While it’s in its infancy stages, we really have an opportunity to grow that health-care side of the business — not only products in the store, but services,” he said at a virtual conference hosted by Barclays.
The retailer experienced a strong year amid the pandemic as sales increased 16% to USD33.7 Billion last year. Furthermore, it’s net income rose to USD2.6 Billion in 2020, compared to USD1.71 Billion in 2019.
“When times are good, we do pretty well,” Vasos said Thursday. “And when times aren’t so good, that consumer needs us more.”