Dollar General, Goodlettsville, Tenn., introduced the DG Fresh initiative to begin self-distributing fresh and frozen foods.

The DG Fresh initiative, launched through a cold storage facility in Pottsville, Pa., already serves approximately 300 Dollar General stores in the Northeast, and expects to distribute its own fresh foods to as many as 5,000 stores by the end of January 2020 and chain-wide in 3-4 years.

“It will allow us to control our own destiny in fresh foods,” says Todd Vasos, chief executive officer. “Most notably, by distributing perishables ourselves, we can carry more of the fresh products and brands our customers want. These include better-for-you items and national brands. Today, there are many items we cannot cost effectively procure through our current model. In addition, self-distribution will allow us to offer a wider selection of our own private brands to provide our customers with even more compelling value.”

Dollar General also announced plans to “Fast Track,” a program designed to will speed the process of stocking shelves and offer a self-checkout option.

The company also plans to open 10 small-format, urban-friendly DGX stores this year.