Family Dollar has found a niche serving lower income consumers and found that offering consumables is a sure fire way to drive traffic during good times and bad. Now the chain is looking to speed up its rollout of the company's "store of the future" so it can sell food to consumers paying with food stamps.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Family Dollar CEO Howard Levine recently told analysts that the company currently accepts food stamps at 3,000 of its stores and is looking to offer the service at the 3,600 locations that don't currently accept payment from the government program.
Mr. Levine said that the number of households using food stamps increased by 17 percent in September '08 compared to the previous year. A total of 14 million households were food stamp recipients.
"The expansion of our food assortment, combined with the upgrade of our point of sale technology, positions us well to serve this growing population of customers," he said.
Discussion Questions: What are your views on the food stamp opportunity? What does it mean for retailers looking to serve this market while finding a point of difference from the competition?
How much do you expect the rolls of food stamp recipients to grow or shrink in 2009?