OPERATIONS

Dollar General jumps into self-checkout game

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Dollar General is letting some shoppers use their smartphones to pay for their order and skip the checkout line.

The discounter launched its DG Go! app, which allows customers to use their phones to scan items as they shop, and checkout directly through the app. The app, which was released in May, is available in Apple’s App store and on Google Play.

The app is being piloted in 10 stores in Nashville. However, Dollar General plans to roll it out to another 100 stores in the second quarter, Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said during the company’s earnings call last month.

Here’s how it works: Shoppers use the app to scan each item. Digital coupons are automatically applied directly in the app, and shoppers receive alerts about potential savings on the items they are purchasing throughout the shopping trip. The app keeps a running total of the order, and users can pay directly by scanning a QR code at a dedicated checkout tablet at the front of the store.

Customers bag items at the checkout station. The order receipt is immediately available in the app, and also be sent to customers via email, according to the app’s description on Google Play.

“As we continue to develop this app, we intend to integrate more functionality to deliver an even more personalized shopping experience,” Vasos added.

Dollar General’s self-checkout expansion coincides with the company’s rapid growth plan. During the next 10 days for example, it is looking to fill management roles within its retail operations, distribution centers and corporate functions. These appointments will support Dollar General’s plan to open 900 stores in 2018.

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Dollar General in management hiring spree

BY Marianne Wilson

Dollar General needs more managers to support its rapid growth — and it wants them sooner rather than later.

The discounter on Thursday said that during the next 10 days it is looking to fill management roles within its retail operations, distribution centers and corporate functions. Available positions include retail district managers, retail region directors, distribution center assistant directors and distribution center supervisors.

Dollar General continues to grow at a fast pace. It is on track to open 900 stores in 2018.

“It’s an exciting time to join Dollar General as we seek qualified candidates to support our tremendous growth,” said Bob Ravener, Dollar General’s executive VP president and chief people officer. “In FY 2018 alone, we plan to create approximately 7,000 new jobs, in addition to the approximately 50,000 jobs we have created in the last decade.”

As of May 4, Dollar General operated 14,761 stores in 44 states.

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Mobile POS transactions to triple in five years

BY Marianne Wilson

Expect more and more merchants — even small ones — to adopt mobile point-of-sale in the next few years.

According to a new study from Juniper Research, the adoption mobile point-of-sale devices connecting wirelessly or via mobile devices, such as those from iZettle and Square, will drive annual mPOS transactions to over 87 billion by 2023. This represents a threefold increase over an estimated 28 billion transactions in 2018.

The research found that the average price of an mPOS device will drop from $40 in 2018 to approximately $33 by 2023. The increased affordability, coupled with the simplicity of the devices, will make the technology highly attractive to smaller, previously cash-driven businesses, according to Juniper. Established POS vendors such as Verifone and Ingenico will therefore increasingly look to mPOS as an area for future growth, expanding their market reach to previously unaddressed markets.

The research also forecasts that biometrics will become an increasingly common part of mPOS offerings. It cited national identity schemes using biometrics, such as Aadhar in India, as a mechanism for card-free authentication, giving merchants the opportunity to avoid card network charges. This will drive biometric-enabled mPOS devices to reach almost 2 million globally by 2023, just under 4% of total mPOS terminals in use by then.

 

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