Dollar General Opens Mobile Health Clinics at 3 Tennessee Stores

Dollar General is hitting its big retail competitors with a pilot program for medical services.

Dollar General of Goodlettsville, Tennessee has opened mobile health clinics at three Tennessee stores in partnership with DocGo, which provides mobile medical and transportation services. The mobile clinics will offer on-site services, including annual medical check-ups, vaccinations, emergency care and lab tests a couple of days a week at each location.

Dollar General said the pilot program complements its DG Wellbeing health initiative, which puts more health and wellness products in stores, an initiative that many see as an attempt to take market share from CVS and Walgreens. As of October, DG Wellbeing products were available in more than 3,200 of nearly 19,000 stores across the country.

A spokesperson for Dollar General did not respond to requests for more information or interviews with executives.

As Dollar General expands its footprint in the healthcare industry, some consultants wonder if the retailer will experience staffing issues like those plagued by the larger healthcare sector.

“Anyone who wants to do something new will have to figure out how to recruit,” said Jeff Goldsmith, president of consulting firm Health Futures. “Any of these people, whether it’s the existing hospital system or a new primary care physician venture like Oak Street or whatever, I mean the basic question is, why work for them? What is the value proposition for the healthcare worker?”

According to Brian Niehaus, vice president of consulting firm Advis, large retailers like Dollar General can capitalize on their presence in communities by keeping recruiting efforts active and maintaining salaries competitive enough to attract the nurse practitioners or paramedics needed. to manage clinics. If the clinics are successful, he said, Dollar General could move away from outsourcing medical services, potentially designing stores with clinical spaces, as others have done.

Dollar General’s broad presence in rural areas can also be a competitive advantage. The company estimates that 75% of the US population lives within 5 miles of one of its stores.

Dollar General has been eyeing the healthcare industry for years. In 2018, the company launched the “Better for You” program to procure healthier products such as fresh produce and more nutritious snacks. The DG Fresh initiative, launched in 2019, enabled distribution within the company to reduce the cost of frozen and chilled products. The company has also established partnerships to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic.

Corey Tarlow, an equity analyst at Jefferies, sees mobile clinics as a long-term game for Dollar General. “If it works in a small subset of stores that I think are located near headquarters where they can keep a close eye on it, then the only thing that Dollar General has proven is the ability to really scale initiatives that work,” – he said.

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