Case Study

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Retail Strategy for the Dollar Channel

Account management challenges of expanding distribution
  • what was up

    Family Dollar and Dollar General were attracting more middle income shoppers, expanding the selection of national name brands on their shelves, and increasing store count in middle class neighborhoods.  Our client did not sell to the Dollar Channel, did not know if their brands would meet the criteria, and internal management was concerned about brand image.

  • what we knew

    How America Shops® trend surveys reported that more shoppers were buying more categories (food and health products) in the Dollar chains as more national name brands became available on the shelves, and our client would lose shoppers if they were not on shelf with their competition.

  • what we did

    We recommended a Dollar channel retail strategy with 3 deliverables: a) outline the expectations of Dollar channel buyers and merchandisers; b) learn how shoppers would feel about our client’s brands when they saw them in a Dollar store; c) develop a rationale for their marketing management to accept expansion into Dollar stores.

    • WSL interviewed members of our Retail Executive Panel who were senior executives and merchants at Family Dollar and Dollar General to understand the terms, pricing and size requirements.  This would help our client decide if they could meet these expectations.
    • We conducted focus groups with dollar store shoppers to hear their response to being able to buy higher priced name brands in their dollar store.
    • We summarized How America Shops® trend data to create a presentation to our client’s management teams, demonstrating the future of retail where dollar chains would be a destination for shoppers who buy their brands, and an essential channel to sales growth.

  • how we did

    • Our client used our feedback from the Dollar chain executives to prepare their Operations and Logistics areas to service the Dollar chains.
    • An account team was created to manage the Dollar channel with shopper marketing support suitable to the size of the stores and to the shopper base.
    • Marketing management came to see the importance of the Dollar channel to the continued growth of their brands, and today they work with the retailers to develop programs for the brands and Dollar shoppers.
    • Today, all of this client’s OTC brands are carried in small sizes at the Dollar Chains, and our client and its brands are viewed by Dollar Channel executives as essential to satisfying their shoppers.