FedEx says 1,500 Dollar General stores will offer pickup and drop-off services by late summer. That will grow to 8,000 stores by the end of 2020.

FedEx Corp. and Dollar General plan to offer FedEx pickup and drop-off services at 1,500 Dollar General stores starting in late summer, with plans to expand the service to more than 8,000 stores by the end of 2020. The arrangement aims to help FedEx offer services to consumers who live near Dollar General’s stores, which are mainly in rural locations.

The Dollar General arrangement is the latest example of FedEx’s efforts to serve consumers who want secure drop-off and pickup options for packages they don’t want delivered to their homes or offices.

The deal will boost FedEx’s network of pickup and drop-off locations to more than 62,000. The addition of the Dollar General stores—mainly located in rural areas—will put 90% of Americans within five miles of a location where a shopper can access FedEx services, says FedEx.

“We understand customers may not always want packages delivered to a home or office,” says Scott Harkins, senior vice president, customer experience marketing at FedEx Services. “They want secure, alternate delivery options, and we’re on a mission to make that happen. We are proud to work with Dollar General to make our customers’ lives easier.”

Dollar General operates 15,597 stores in 44 states as of May 3, 2019.

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FedEx announced earlier this month it would not renew its U.S. air-delivery contract with Amazon.com (No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000). FedEx said it would focus on customers such as Walmart Inc. (No. 3), Target Corp. (No. 16) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (No. 43). Amazon’s contract with the FedEx Express air division expires at the end of June 30 and doesn’t cover international operations or other services such as FedEx’s ground deliveries.

FedEx has said it wants to position itself as a carrier of choice for the “broader ecommerce market” and expects package volume from online shopping to double by 2026.

In another move aimed at meeting the demands of ecommerce shippers and online shoppers, FedEx last month announced it would offer year-round, seven-day-per-week residential FedEx Ground service to most of the United States starting in January 2020. Currently, FedEx offers seven-day service only during the holiday peak season.

FedEx also recently announced plans to change the way it handles the last-mile of its deliveries. Currently, FedEx passes about 2 million SmartPost packages to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery to homes every day. FedEx will increasingly integrate those deliveries into FedEx Ground operations and deliveries will be made by service providers currently handling FedEx Ground residential packages.

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