Dollar General has announced automation plans for a distribution center in South Carolina, with plans for a nationwide launch to follow. This effort to automate the delivery of goods to individual stores is part of an overall effort to overcome supply chain issues, reports local news outlet The Post and Courier.
The streamlining strategy for the over 19,000 Dollar General locations (including 644 in South Carolina) is starting at its warehouse in Jonesville, located near the Port of Charleston’s inland port in Greer.
Adding the new warehouse improvements comes at a cost of roughly $45 million.
The company recently completed a 250,000-square-foot expansion of the site, bringing it to more than 1.35 million square feet of space.
The new technology will enable the distribution center to replenish thousands of products for more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast region with a more efficient warehouse space and lower costs, CEO Jeffery Owen said during an Aug. 31 conference call.
The automation efforts are part of the retailer’s plans to streamline the way it transports merchandise to stores, and Dollar General plans to roll out more automation technology to other distribution centers, open new sites, and expand its in-house truck fleet (from 1,800 to 2,000) by the end of this year.
“When you have stability in the supply chain, that leads to stability inside the store,” Owen told analysts. “And so now that we're seeing our supply chain which, quite frankly, we've had some significant challenges over the last couple of years, stabilizing, we're seeing that show up in more stability inside the store.”
Dollar General recently reported supply chain issues in December that cost more than $40 million in 2022 due to inefficiencies with freight and getting shipping containers back to those centers in time.