Inside This Issue - News
Walgreens introduces ‘Taylor Swift Store’
October 22nd, 2012
DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has partnered with singer/celebrity Taylor Swift to introduce the “Taylor Swift Store at Walgreens,” featuring a selection of her music and other merchandise. The collection is available in Walgreens and select Duane Reade locations.
“Our relationship with Taylor provides customers with convenient access to her broad range of merchandise, enabling them to show their support for her,” says Joe Magnacca, president of daily living products and solutions at Walgreens. “This unique offering is another way we are delivering on our mission to make health and happiness simpler, easier and within reach for everyone on a daily basis.”
The assortment of Taylor Swift merchandise includes T-shirts, bracelets, backpacks, tour books, posters, journals, notebooks, calendars, and iPhone and iPad accessories as well as other items. The merchandise incorporates artwork from Swift’s soon-to-be-released album “Red.”
The products can be purchased not only in-store but also through Walgreens.com and the Walgreens mobile app.
For Swift, the Walgreens tie-up is the latest in a series of retail partnerships for the singer. In 2010 Target Corp. achieved its highest one-week sales with the release of an exclusive edition of Swift’s “Speak Now” album.
For Walgreens, the partnership reflects a new and dynamic front-end merchandising strategy that clearly aims to appeal to a broader and younger consumer base than the core drug store customer. However, it may also provide a glimpse into the future as Walgreens shares best practices with Alliance Boots GmbH, in which it holds a 45% ownership stake.
Boots, the United Kingdom’s leading drug store chain, has achieved global renown for its private brands. Boots No7, for example, is a beauty brand that encompasses cosmetics and skin care and has been available heretofore in the United States through channel exclusives that include Target and beauty specialty retailer Ulta as well as online.
As Magnacca indicated in a recent interview with Chain Drug Review, there are other Alliance Boots brands in the wings: Soltan, Botanics and Boots Laboratories, to name a few. For Walgreens, the appeal of these brands goes beyond their demonstrated consumer equity and includes the vertical integration that has provided them with much of their power.
Exclusive brands are not, of course, new to Walgreens and the retailer has an array of strong store brands as well, some of which were acquired along with the Duane Reade business, where Magnacca played a key role before its acquisition by Walgreens.
Moreover, he emphasized, Walgreens continues to seek a balance between private label and national brands.
Nonetheless, the Taylor Swift deal demonstrates the merchandising verve that is transforming the front end at Walgreens and is perhaps most visible in its Look beauty boutiques.