An inside look at Popshelf, Dollar General’s answer to HomeGoods | Warren Shoulberg

Dollar General began testing the Popshelf concept in late 2020.

Atlanta – Run, don’t walk, to your nearest Popshelf store, the upscale hybrid launched by Dollar General.

Part HomeGoods, part drug store and part Pier 1 with a touch of dollar store, this is the freshest retail concept I’ve seen in a very long time. BBB, TJX and chain drug stores beware.

Here’s my report from a store in Tucker, Ga., an Atlanta suburb.

Dollar General Popshelf concept

Everyday basics are the staple of the Popshelf soft home assortment.

The Good

  • It’s amazing how big stores can’t cross-merchandise when start-ups like Popshelf nail it right from the start. Showing hard and soft home together and even mixing in some consumables, this store does it all nicely from the minute you walk in the door.
  • From Home Depot’s orange to Target’s red, retailers have used color to brand themselves. Popshelf does it with purple, from the shopping carts and baskets to the in-store signage and even the employee uniforms. A simple piece of effective merchandising.
  • While most of the store is decorative accessories and consumables, its home textiles assortment includes towels, kitchen textiles, dec pillows and throws. It stays away from utility products and basics like sheets to make it all about fashion. And great prices: $3 kitchen towels and $10 throws. All private label, by the way.
Dollar General Popshelf concept

Dollar General characterizes Popsehlf as “a one-stop fresh + fun shop.”

The Bad

  • It was a struggle to find anything to criticize in this place. Perhaps it could have had some more bedding pieces and maybe it missed an opportunity when it came to small occasional furniture, but that’s just nitpicking.

The Ugly

  • While the Popshelf name is cool and hip, casual shoppers wouldn’t have a clue what this store sells if they were driving by. A tagline or some other kind of identification might help while it builds out its chain of stores.

See also

Warren Shoulberg has reported on the gift and home industry for most of his career. He is often quoted in national media, such as The New York Times and CNN, and contributes to PBM publications, Forbes.com and The Robin Report.

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