DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cities all across the nation, like Fort Worth, TX and Kansas City, MO already have, or are working on, laws that restrict the spread of Dollar General chains. Des Moines, on the other hand, is getting another one and it will be in the heart of downtown.
This new store called DGX will be different though and is specially designed to meet the needs of vibrant city centers.
A report completed a little over a year ago shows these traditional Dollar General stores actually target poorer neighborhoods and food deserts, where it's difficult to buy affordable, good quality fresh food. As a result, many residents end up shopping at these dollar stores for their groceries. They are limited to a narrow selection of processed foods.
“I mean food deserts are constantly an issue. There are parts of town that don't have grocery stores, that don't have access to healthy food. That's something that in general we need to do better at,” Des Moines city councilman Josh Mandelbaum said. “I'm not sure of the role that a DGX store will play in that. I don't know what their offerings will be, from a healthy foods perspective, but that's something that we want to encourage with anyone who is opening up stores is to provide those healthy options and provide that range of options. In a place like downtown, I think that would do well, but I think it's also important to be advocating for that full range of options in all parts of our community.”
According to the company, the DGX stores give an assortment of grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, and fresh fruits and vegetables at select stores. That’s along with their typical items like home cleaning supplies, snacks, paper products, and health and beauty supplies.
Right now there are seven DGX stores in the U.S. with the next coming to Des Moines.
“This DGX it's a new product for downtown and I think what it demonstrates is there is just a lot of capacity for retail in downtown Des Moines. There are 80,000 people who work down here. We've had new apartment buildings going up. We essentially have two new neighborhoods that are in the process of being built. So there is just a lot of activity and a lot of potential for additional retailing,” Mandelbaum said.
The DGX store is said to open early this year. It will be on the same block as Kum and Go's downtown convenience store that is supposed to be complete in the Spring of this year.