Inside This Issue - News
Duane Reade keeps raising bar
July 18th, 2011
NEW YORK – In grand style, Duane Reade opened here what many industry observers are calling the most spectacular drug store ever.
With hundreds of supplier executives, journalists and a handful of celebrities in attendance, Duane Reade had a gala celebration this month for the opening of its largest store to date: a 22,000-square-foot unit at 40 Wall Street, a long-vacant landmark building in the heart of the city’s financial district.
“It needed a lot of work,” Duane Reade president Joe Magnacca said about the former bank building space, with high ceilings and rows of marble columns. “We tried to maintain as much of the old structure as possible.”
The result of that effort is a drug store that offers shoppers visible splendor at every turn and a broad selection of drug store items, combined with categories never before seen in a community pharmacy. For instance, the store has a sushi bar with two sushi chefs behind the counter. Across the aisle is a juice bar, a high-end coffee machine and a soft drink dispenser that offers more than 100 drink choices.
The store’s expanded food offerings include a wide variety of natural and gluten-free items and more frozen and refrigerated products than are found in other Duane Reade outlets.
“One of our main goals with this store was to move the customer’s time in the store from a transactional experience to a shopping experience,” explained Magnacca.
To that end, Duane Reade has made its upscale beauty area — the Look Boutique — a centerpiece of the Wall Street store. Yet the location’s Look Boutique is unlike any that the retailer has opened since the concept was rolled out two years ago.
“This is the Look Boutique on steroids,” Magnacca told a group of visitors accompanying him on a store tour the day before the outlet officially opened.
Besides a wide array of high-end beauty care products and a broad range of designer fragrances, the store’s Look Boutique includes what Duane Reade calls the Phyto Universe, a three-chair salon offering hair and scalp treatments and hair blow-outs and the Nail Bar by Essie-OPI, housed in an area of the store that was once David Rockefeller’s office.
Within the boutique shoppers can test professional hair appliances and use a makeover tool that displays a digital photo of them and then virtually apply products found in the store simply by scanning their bar code.
“We always said that if we could be given the extra space, we will fill it,” Magnacca said.
Besides being the most elaborate project that Duane Reade has taken up, the store represents a first for the chain and its parent company, Walgreen Co.
The 40 Wall Street store’s pharmacy marks the first time that Duane Reade has used the Walgreens brand on any of its departments. Drawing on Walgreens’ expertise in the prescription and health care business, the new store’s pharmacy and its unique Doctor On Premises concept is billed as being “powered by Walgreens.”
“We’re playing to where the future of pharmacy is headed and hopefully helping to mold that future,” remarked Magnacca, who also is president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreens.