Taking an alternative approach to the traditional drugstore model, Duane Reade unveiled its new flagship store at 40 Wall Street in New York, open to the public July 6, 2011. The 22,000-square-foot store, which will be open 24/365, touts an “up market” focus by providing upscale versions of food, health care and beauty products. For example, the beauty department offers customers before-and-after virtual makeovers. Duane Reade’s previous flagship in the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001.
Focused on servicing three particular customer segments — people who work in the financial district, local residents and tourists — the new Duane Reade also aims to attract younger consumers, according to Joe Magnacca, President of Duane Reade and Daily Living Products and Solutions for Walgreens.
Founded in 1960, Duane Reade operates more than 250 stores throughout the metropolitan New York region. Duane Reade is part of the Walgreens family of companies, with more than 7,700 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Following its February 2010 acquisition by Walgreen Co., New York-based Duane Reade is undertaking significant strategy changes, including an increased emphasis on CRM and in-store merchandising.
“This store represents a milestone, with the best ideas of Duane Reade and Walgreens setting a new benchmark for health and daily living,” said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson. “As part of the Walgreens family of companies, Duane Reade is taking an important step in its highly visible re-branding initiatives with the opening of this store.”
Store visitors are greeted by a “Virtual Assistant,” which utilizes imaging and audiovisual technology to simulate a real person. The Virtual Assistant, custom-designed for Duane Reade, marks the first U.S. deployment of the technology by Lawrence, a Tensator Company, a provider of queue management and digital signage solutions. The Virtual Assistant offers customer guidance on store-related instructions, checkout information and product recommendations.
Upscale Offerings Across Store Categories
In addition to a strategically localized food assortment as part of the up market, the new store offers a no-appointment-necessary “doctor on premises,” and Duane Reade’s first pharmacy “Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network.” The new system will link to Walgreens pharmacy system. New Yorkers, out-of-state residents and visitors can access their Walgreens pharmacy information at the new NYC Duane Reade. Focused on providing a seamless patient experience, the pharmacy sends customers a prescription “ready” text message.
The flagship store’s expanded beauty department features a LOOK Boutique that offers customers before-and-after virtual makeovers, skin analysis from Philips Crystalize and a fragrance sampler designed to enable customers to sample more than 40 different scents. The new store also features a Nail Bar where customers can get a manicure, and Hair Salon where customers can get a blowout, built on Duane Reade’s “New York Living Made Easy” vision. Other store offerings include a Sushi Station, The Juice Market, a Starbucks coffee and fresh bakery counter, a Coca-Cola “Freestyle” machine dispensing 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks, and an expanded natural and organic section, as well as other products and labels exclusive to Duane Reade.
View the exclusive Retail TouchPoints interview with Duane Reade President Joe Magnacca below.