Retailers are stepping up their brick-and-mortar engagement strategies to boost overall foot traffic and purchase rates. Duane Reade has implemented multiple new merchandising and engagements techniques to create a memorable in-store experience at its newest location at 100 Broadway in New York City.
Among its features, the new 22,000-square-foot store, which opened early July 2012 in downtown Manhattan, offers a variety of food and beverage options, including a café and chop salad bar; sushi takeout; a frozen yogurt stand; soup and fresh juice bars; and an on-staff chef. All of which are part of a one-stop-shop experience for time-starved consumers.
“The overall strategy around the store was to create a grand scenario in which meal replacements are offered during busy lunchtime and early dinner shopping hours,” Michael De Fazio, Senior Director of Store Concepts for Duane Reade, told Retail TouchPoints. The retailer had such success with the new engagement features that it extended the hours of specific offerings to meet customer demand.
Before creating the new Broadway store experience, Duane Reade ― which operates more than 250 stores in New York City ― studied its nearby flagship store on 40 Wall Street to determine area traffic flow and shopping trends, De Fazio explained. Based on results, the retailer integrated distinct features into 100 Broadway to create a new and differentiated experience that complements but doesn’t replicate the nearby flagship store.
Extensive testing across flagship locations is key to Duane Reade’s creative and successful store design features and concepts, De Fazio noted. “We use flagship stores as test labs to determine what customers find worthwhile,” he explained. “We then incorporate the most valuable features into other stores, based on geographic location, demographics, income and other retail data.”
For example, the merchant evaluated the coffee bar concept in its Chicago flagship before bringing the popular concept to its New York installments, De Fazio reported. Similarly, the fresh yogurt feature was rolled out in three other locations before implementation at 100 Broadway. Offerings first introduced in the nearby Wall Street flagship ― including the fresh juice bar, sushi takeout area and on-staff chef ― also were carried into Duane Reade’s new Broadway store.
Re-Creating “Old New York” To create an even more compelling in-store experience, 100 Broadway incorporates a concept-store design theme reflecting the downtown Manhattan neighborhood vibe of “Old New York.” For example, “when renovating the building, we retained the ornate ceiling, which complements the subtle intricacies of ‘Old New York,’” De Fazio said. “We also included street lamps and vintage-styled subway tiling throughout the interior, along with graphics representing the Manhattan skyline.” Among other neighborhood design features, the store’s second floor touts a museum-like exhibit, designed to pay homage to all the parades and people previously honored on Broadway.
In the near future, Duane Reade plans to optimize its in-store experiences further, according to De Fazio. He anticipates iPads will be adopted later this year to help communicate with and engage customers more effectively throughout a store, from beauty to pharmacy.