STORE SPACES

Dollar General tests fuel stations

BY Dan Berthiaume

Goodlettsville, Tenn. – Dollar General is opening its first fuel station, as part of a test pilot project. The new fuel pumps are located at the Dollar General Market in Hanceville, Ala.

“Dollar General continues to innovate to provide convenience and value for our customers,” said Rick Dreiling, chairman and CEO. “This project to test a fuel offering is consistent with our strategy of continually looking for new and better ways to meet our customers’ needs for value and convenience and enhancing our position as America’s general store.”

This pilot project is part of an agreement with Mansfield Oil, which provides fuel supply, distribution, delivery, and dispensing solutions to customers. Dollar General and Mansfield will evaluate the results of the pilot project during the next year and jointly assess expansion opportunities.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: Four-in-10 smartphone users buy with device

BY Dan Berthiaume

Dallas – Four-in-10 (43%) of U.S. smartphone users purchased a good via their device in the last month. The new Parks Associates study “Mobile Commerce: Keys to Mass Adoption” also shows that 54% of Target shoppers have used their smartphone to make an in-store purchase in the last month, compared to 38% of Wal-Mart customers.

In addition, survey data shows that more than 25% of consumer electronics shoppers in broadband households have used mobile commerce apps on their smartphone to help with an in-store purchase decision, including functions such as product research, barcode scanning, and interaction with a retailer or brand app.

“There’s no such thing as a pure ‘in-store’ shopper anymore,” said Jennifer Kent, senior analyst at Parks Associates. “Consumers are checking online information about products before, after, and while they shop in stores. Retailers that embrace this trend will be in a good position to drive more sales within their stores.”

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OPERATIONS

Report: Target tests hands-on electronics department

BY Dan Berthiaume

Minneapolis – Target Corp. is reportedly testing a “hands-on” electronics department with a minimalist format that harkens back to Apple stores and brightly lit displays that encourage shoppers to try out sample consumer electronics products. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Target is testing the concept at stores in Brooklyn Park, Mankato, Ridgedale and the Quarry location in Minneapolis, as well as outside Minnesota.

“It’s more a minimalist approach with space for consumers to touch and test the merchandise,” said Chris Christopher, director of consumer electronics at IHS Global Insight in Massachusetts, in the report.

The test follows similar “hands-on” electronics department designs used by competing consumer electronics retailer such as Apple, Best Buy and Microsoft in recent years. Target has not specified how long the design pilot will last or when it will decide whether to use the new design in more stores.

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