Transport and logistics giant FedEx Corp. will offer package drop-off and pickup services at thousands of Dollar General stores across the U.S., saying the move would improve access to e-commerce shipments for its customers, particularly those living in rural communities.
The move is the latest in a series of business tweaks made by the Memphis-based parcel carrier to adjust to the e-commerce landscape, including its announcement Friday that it would not renew the contract between FedEx Express—its air cargo arm—and retail behemoth Amazon.com Inc. And in May, FedEx said it would expand its FedEx Ground delivery service by operating seven days a week year-round service beginning in 2020, and by using it to handle its FedEx SmartPost volume of low-weight residential shipments and returns.
FedEx plans to begin rolling out the new service with the discount retailer in more than 1,500 Dollar General stores in late summer 2019, building to a total of more than 8,000 stores by the end of 2020. The Dollar General alliance will increase the FedEx Retail Convenience Network to more than 62,000 retail locations, the company said.
According to FedEx, the plan will boost its portfolio of offerings for online merchants by leveraging Dollar General's unique rural store footprint. Following the expansion, more than 90 percent of Americans will ultimately live within five miles of a FedEx hold retail location.
As part of the FedEx OnSite program, customers will be able to drop off pre-packaged and pre-labeled FedEx Express or FedEx Ground shipments at Dollar General stores and pick up packages sent to their neighborhood Dollar General.
That service will allow online merchants to access the perks of operating a physical store without having to invest in building one, FedEx said in a blog post. That experience is important to online shoppers, who expect delivery and returns options that meet the demands of their schedules, no matter where they live. For example, 50 percent of these shoppers want additional delivery options and a third of the time they're returning what they buy online, FedEx said.
"Dollar General is the perfect retailer to help us meet the growing need for convenient, secure drop-off and pickup options in a variety of rural communities," Scott Harkins, senior vice president, Customer Channel Marketing, FedEx Services, said in a release. "We understand customers may not always want packages delivered to a home or office. They want secure, alternate delivery options, and we're on a mission to make that happen."