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University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business professors Don Bruce and Paul Dittman shared their insights into Dollar General’s past, present and future growth. Bruce says “convenience really matters” in Dollar General’s selection of locations, and that has become even more obvious in the pandemic era of increased online shopping. “People will not go out of their way to get something in-person if they can get it quickly online. That certainly took over in 2020,” says Bruce, the associate director of UT’s Boyd Center for Business & Economic Research. “And what I see happening with Dollar General – and I see it happening even in my neighborhood – is that they are very well aware of that. “What we have to think about with Dollar General is they’re seeing what happened and they’re filling an obvious niche. They’re filling a gap in the marketplace,” Bruce adds. ... “I’ve read a number of articles about the retail apocalypse, that retail’s going to die because of online. And COVID gave it a jump-start in the sense of advancing 10 years in one year toward that goal,” Dittman says. “Certainly, it is true that a lot of retailers have died. There’s long list of retailers who have died. So the retail apocalypse, I think, is real, but apparently not for Dollar General. Their customers must love to shop physically in stores, is all I can think of. “I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s the market areas they serve,” Dittman adds.
The Department of Marketing & Supply Chain is built around the symbiotic relationship between two disciplines. Chad Autry, department head, explains how both are integrated in the Haslam curriculum.
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Chris Craighead, a UT business professor and expert on supply chain disruptions, offers timely suggestions on buying and shipping holiday gifts.