Duane Reade makes statement in beauty

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NEW YORK — Duane Reade Inc. has staked its claim to the luxury beauty market.

The drug chain’s just-opened 24-hour store in Manhattan’s Herald Square features its new Look Boutique with prestige brands in high-end displays. Fragrance testers, a premium skin care section, exclusive brands and a “brow bar” offering eyebrow shaping are among the elements. It is staffed by full-time beauty advisers.

Half of the 30 new or remodeled outlets slated to be opened by Duane Reade next year are expected to include the boutique. The second Look Boutique is set to premiere in a Rockefeller Center store before the winter.

The department dominates the top floor of the two-story, 14,000-square-foot store at Broadway and 35th Street, across the street from Macy’s.

The boutique, which includes mass brands, covers 5,400 square feet. Over-the-counter drugs and a pharmacy with an adjacent, physician-staffed walk-in clinic round out the upper floor. The 5,000 square feet downstairs are largely given over to convenience foods, including the full range of the retailer’s new DR Delish line.

Large windows with a view of Broadway complement the Look Boutique’s upscale decor. Signs include such quotes on beauty as Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Beauty without grace is like the hook without the bait.”

Exclusive makeup lines with their own displays include Pür Minerals, Too Faced, Pop Beauty and Ramy. The nailtini and liptini collections are offered in a presentation of “cocktail-inspired cosmetics.” Other displays showcase elave skin care products and Aetó skin and hair care items.

The escalator leads to a circular counter with premium fragrances including Burberry, Juicy Couture and Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers. As well as featuring testers, the counter functions as the beauty checkout counter.

Duane Reade has had luxury skin care departments in other stores, but the one here is the first to be called the LookRx healthier skin center. Its brands include Lierac, Avène and La Roche-Posay as well as such specialty lines as 100% Pure, Rilastil and MD Skincare by Dr. Dennis Gross. Bottles of Skin Balance Water from Borba are offered in a refrigerated case.

The brow bar is part of the Ramy cosmetics display, and the makeup artist’s staff will shape brows for $30. Three-foot cosmetics stations with the “ ’tini beauty lounge” and Global Goddess and Vera Moore lines will have chairs for makeovers.

Between the prestige and mass areas are lighted display tables with Duane Reade’s private label Look NY beauty tools, the Demeter Fragrance Library and a spectrum of nail polish shades.

The salon hair care section features professional brands including Bumble & bumble, PureOlogy and Keratase, as well as a display of Moroccan Oil.

Flanking the pharmacy is a waiting area with chairs and couches that doubles as the reception area for the clinic. A sign for the clinic, one of four at Duane Reade stores, says, “Doctor on Premises.”

Just outside the pharmacy is the InVite Health vitamin section, which features a full-time naturopathist.

Complementing the upscale offerings upstairs are gourmet foods on the street level, including artisan baguettes, pure maple syrup and basmati rice.

The “Restaurant Row” display has Rachel Ray cookware and sauces from Rao’s and Lidia Bastianich. The “fresh made daily” section, meanwhile, offers DR Delish snacks and lunches to go, including salads, wraps, sandwiches, granola yogurt and even crudites with a hummus dip.

The cold and frozen cases have an array of deli meats as well as Amy’s organic products.


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