FedEx and Dollar General recently announced that FedEx customers will be able to drop off and pick up parcels at 8,000 Dollar General stores by 2020. FedEx already has relationships with over 50,000 retail outlets in the U.S., but the Dollar General partnership significantly increases their ability access the off-neglected rural consumer. Walmart estimates that the proportion of U.S. rural customers within 5 miles of a FedEx retail partner will increase from 55% to 90% pursuant to the Dollar General relationship.
The ability to provide customers with convenient access to goods is the most hotly contested component in e-commerce today. From Walmart’s integration of Jet.com into its operations to Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to Amazon’s many ways to gain access to consumers, retailers and e-commerce providers are fighting to make the “last mile” as convenient for their customers as possible. FedEx’s efforts in this regard provide other retailers with a means of being competitive with the major players.