The Wall Street Journal reports that Dollar General “is betting that more food choices, including fresh produce, will boost its revenue and traffic as it looks to expand in rural and metro areas lacking grocery-store options.”

CEO Todd Vasos says that as the company opens 975 new stores, remodels 1,000 and relocates 100 stores during the coming year, it wants to “develop these additional formats to be able to move into certain demographics across the U.S. where a one-size-fits-all mentality is really not the way to be productive and to make the most of your real estate portfolio.”

Vasos says that he believes that Dollar General “can ‘drive a tremendous amount of traffic’ by opening stores that offer refrigerated products and produce in food deserts, areas where access to affordable and healthier food options is limited.” He also says that “there is still an opportunity to add 12,000 to 13,000 stores in the continental U.S. Dollar General operated 15,227 stores in 44 states as of Nov. 2.”

KC's View: The pace of growth that Dollar General is projecting is extraordinary, and if the company is able to effectively match that with a stronger value proposition in terms of food and fresh produce, it has the potential to have an enormous impact on the competitive landscape.

Dollar General has a pretty specific narrative, and it can throw a lot of shade at retailers with a less compelling story to tell its shoppers, or a more mediocre value proposition. Plus, when the economy moves into a downturn - which it inevitably will, with many economists suggesting it will come in 2019 or 2020 - Dollar General, in a lot of markets, may be well positioned to take advantage.

These folks have the potential of being really scary.