Lupin 2023

Duane Reade grows fresh food format in new store

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NEW YORK — Duane Reade has opened a new drug store in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood that features a greatly expanded fresh food and grocery offering.

The metropolitan New York drug chain said Thursday that the new 24-hour store, located at 16th Street and 8th Avenue, offers fresh sandwiches, single-serve entrees, baked goods and freshly packed salads and vegetables.

The expanded food section comprises about 40% of the 15,000-square-foot, two-level store and includes soup and easy meal items, such as freshly made and microwavable single-serve entrees. Duane Reade also is offering fresh produce for the first time, including bagged salad and packaged celery and carrots, along with freshly packed deli meats. Breakfast items will include fresh-cut fruit, baked goods, as well as self-serve Starbucks coffee.

In addition, Duane Reade will offer over 500 SKUs of frozen convenience items, such as boneless skinless chicken breasts, hamburger patties, frozen vegetables and appetizers. The retailer’s recently introduced DR Delish food and beverage brand will be featured, as will as an expanded array of organic grocery items. Fresh food deliveries will be made daily, the company said.

Duane Reade, which just weeks ago agreed to be acquired by Walgreen Co., noted that the expanded fresh format will eventually be rolled out to other locations and that it marks latest phase in the company’s brand and customer experience transformation, which carries the mantra of "New York Living Made Easy." In fact, Walgreens chief executive Greg Wasson cited Duane Reade’s retailing and customer experience innovations as one factor behind the acquisition, since his company is in the midst of its own store optimization push, which also includes a fresh food initiative.

Duane Reade’s transformation, which has unfolded over the past two years, has included innovative new store designs, an improved pharmacy and health services like walk-in access to physicians.

Duane Reade added that the new store will also include its fourth Look Boutique, a store-within-a-store concept that features an array of beauty, skin care and fragrance brands, including many prestige brands and other products exclusive to Duane Reade, as well as beauty care services. The store will also include a Ramy Brow Bar, where customers can get their eyebrows shaped while visiting the store.

The Chelsea store, too, houses Duane Reade’s fifth Doctor on Premises walk-in health clinic, which operates in association with Beth Israel Hospital. Doctor on Premises locations, operated by New York Walk-In Medical Group in association with Consumer Health Services, are the only drug store-sponsored walk-in medical care facilities staffed by licensed medical doctors in the nation, according to the retailer. 


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