Walgreen Co. has officially reopened 68 stores in the Indianapolis area that have been converted to the drug chain's new "health and daily living" format.

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Walgreens debuts new format in Indianapolis

January 19th, 2012
The "Well Experience" format puts the pharmacist out front, as shown at Walgreens' Wheeling, Ill., store.

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. has officially reopened 68 stores in the Indianapolis area that have been converted to the drug chain's new "health and daily living" format.

Walgreens said Thursday that president and chief executive officer Greg Wasson was joined by Sen. Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy and community leaders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its store on 16th and Meridian in Indianapolis to mark the grand reopening.

As part of the Indianapolis remodels, Walgreens also added six Take Care Clinics, raising its clinic count in the metropolitan market to 14.

The Indianapolis stores are part of a pilot, led off by more than 20 stores in the Chicago area, of Walgreens' "Well Experience" concept, which features an innovative pharmacy department layout, expanded pharmacy and health care services, and enhanced front-end offerings such as fresh produce and to-go foods plus a more prominent beauty presentation.

Also attending the Indianapolis grand reopening were Dan Hasler, Indiana's secretary of commerce and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corp.; Dr. Gregory Larkin, Indiana's health commissioner; Phil Wickizer, director of the Indiana Board of Pharmacy; Indianapolis city councilman Vop Osili; Izod IndyCar Series team owner Sarah Fisher; and Elaine Irwin, a Revlon brand ambassador and Almay spokesmodel.

"Our new health and daily living stores help people live well, stay well and get well," Wasson stated at the event. “At the core of this approach is our effort to bring the pharmacist out from behind the counter so they can provide more counseling to patients, offer clinical services and answer questions. By advancing the role of the community pharmacist in this way, we believe we can create better health outcomes, prevent hospitalizations and save money for patients, employers, insurers and the health care system."

Key components of the Well Experience stores include the "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, which positions the pharmacist out in front of the pharmacy for easy interaction with patients; an iPad-toting "health guide," who acts as a health care concierge by answering customers' product and service questions and helping them navigate the store and their health care options and sign up for events; and the "Health Corner," a space in the pharmacy area for hosting health and wellness community events.

And in the front end, refrigerated displays of fresh food showcase fruit and vegetables, meat, prepared salads, sandwiches, wraps, take-and-bake pizzas and other on-the-go meal choices. There's also an enhanced beauty department display, including one store in the Indianapolis market with a Look Boutique with prestige and niche cosmetic, skin care and hair care brands.

"The response we've received from our customers been extraordinarily positive," Wasson commented, "and we're excited to bring this new customer experience to Indianapolis."

Last week, Walgreens opened a Well Experience store in Chicago that became the retailer's new flagship location and incorporated innovations brought by subsidiary Duane Reade, which in the summer had opened a similar landmark store on 40 Wall Street in Manhattan.