Popshelf, Dollar General’s new $5-and-under retail outlet, is brushing aside any notion that brick-and-mortar chains are on the way out. In fact, analysts Adweek spoke with say the store concept comes at the right moment in these uncertain economic times.

The first two Popshelf stores will open outside of Nashville. Tenn., this fall. Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General plans to have approximately 30 Popshelf locations by the end of fiscal year 2021. A spokesperson declined to comment on additional markets. 

Focused on categories like décor, health, beauty, cleaning and entertaining, 95% of the items Popshelf carries will be priced at $5 or less with “a complement of extreme value items priced above $5.” Popshelf stores will be around 9,000 square feet, slightly larger than most dollar stores, but one-tenth the size of the average Walmart at 107,000 square feet.

This makes Popshelf a close retail parallel to Five Below, another value retailer that wants to help consumers “let go and have fun” with products priced mostly from $1 to $5. Those products exist in eight “worlds”: Tech, Create, Play, Candy, Room, Style, Party and New & Now. Founded in 2002, Five Below operates 950 stores in 38 states.

In its Q2 earnings announcement, Five Below president and CEO Joel Anderson noted a “challenging backdrop” that included Covid-related store closures earlier this year. The outlet has since reopened stores, added 63 new outlets and is still on track to open a total of 110 to 120 new locations in 2020.

Forrester analyst Sucharita Kodali said Five Below’s product assortment of “affordable luxuries” has helped it do well in a challenging retail environment, making Popshelf a smart move for Dollar General.

“Dollar General is one of the retailers doing well now. I applaud their willingness to embrace new concepts,” Kodali said. “Real estate