Dollar General To Launch Its First E-Commerce Site, But With Only 1,000 SKUs

Dollar General on Thursday (Sept. 8) will launch its first-ever E-Commerce site. It's not clear why the $13 billion chain hadn't gone to Web sales some 16 years ago, although Dollar General "waiting to see if this E-Commerce thing isn't a passing fad" can't be ruled out. The chain is starting small, with initial plans to offer only 1,000 SKUs, less than one-tenth of the 12,000 SKUs that the 9,500-store chain's typical locations offer. There are no official plans for in-store-pickup, with shipments the only initial distribution method.

CEO Rick Dreiling told an investor conference call that the E-Commerce site was for "customers who, like many of you, may not have a convenient Dollar General. We plan to sell single items as you would find in our stores as well as larger quantities that we stock in our stores. And from time-to-time, we'll also feature limited quantities of special buys." When asked to quantify what he expects the E-Commerce site to do in terms of revenue, the CEO asked for more time to answer. "What I'd rather do is give you an update on that when it has been up and running for a while. This is brand new for us. We do know that there has been request for it. We do know there is demand for it, but I just don't know enough yet about how it's going to go, what it's going to generate."