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Perishables Boost Dollar General Basket

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The inclusion of perishables merchandise boosts the average basket size by almost 60% over average, Richard W. Dreiling, chairman and chief executive officer of Dollar General Corp., Goodlettsville, Tenn., told an investors conference here this week.

"The amount of refrigerated and frozen food we put into our stores makes the customer insatiable," he said. The average basket in 2011 was $10.89; however, when perishables are added, the basket jumps to $17.13, he said.

Accordingly, Dollar General has boosted the number of coolers in stores from six in 2008 to 16, "which is the ultimate number for us," Dreiling said. Dollar General's perishables business has grown from 12.3% of all baskets in 2008 to 17.8% in the first quarter of this year, he pointed out.

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