Little, yellow, different: That’s the game plan for Dollar General Corp., which is using thousands of small stores—more than 15,000 in the U.S. as of March of this year—to provide a convenient and cheap alternative to big-box retailers and conventional grocery stores. Dollar General saw its comparable store sales rise for 29 consecutive years due in part to a continued evolution that has made its offering both more necessary to its core demographic and more attractive to those who might be outside of it. Not surprisingly, it is happening largely with food, which draws shoppers more frequently. This year, the company is investing in initiatives that could help it take greater control of the quality and selection of food at its stores. Known as DG Fresh, the initiative will build capacity to self-distribute fresh foods to as much as a third of its stores this year. CEO Todd Vasos said the DG Fresh initiative was designed to provide greater variety—including healthier items he said its customers want to see more of—while also helping to maintain better stock conditions at stores and allow for more items to come in under private brands. It will also help control the cost of goods, which will support the chain’s mission to operate at the lowest possible prices.