Opened just before the big nor’easter that hit the East Coast late last month, the spacious store sits in a central location in New York City’s busiest transit hub and replaced a menagerie of eateries and a newstand/bookstore that had vacated the space since last summer.
The new Duane Reade — bearing a sign “Duane Reade by Walgreens” (signifying its parent company) — has a wide entrance connecting directly to Penn Station’s main corridor and exterior windows that act as glass displays to showcase the beauty products, boxed candy, gift cards, greeting cards and gift items. The design enables the throngs of passers-by to immediately see what the store has to offer and dart inside for a quick purchase.
The sotre highlights consumables, beauty, personal care and OTC health offerings in a presentation geared for on-the-go customers. For example, a long, linear cooler containing a plethora of beverages parallels an equally long snack display, both of which make it easy for commuters to see what’s available and grab an item. A range of snacks also sit atop the beverage cooler display. Open refrigerator units present an array of ready-to-eat fare, such as sandwiches, yogurt and cut fruit, as well as juice. There’s also an open cooler with “tallboy” cans of beer (a longtime favorite of Penn Station commuters looking for a way to unwind on the train ride home).
Meanwhile, the beauty department houses an ample selection of cosmetics and skin care items, among other beauty products, and spotlights the exclusive brands of Walgreens, including Boots and No7. Featured items are presented on freestanding displays near the front of the store, allowing women to window shop. The store, too, has a beauty adviser as well as a Boots adviser to provide customers more information on the retailer’s own brands.
There’s also, of course, a full-service pharmacy on the left side of the store that’s easily seen and accessible. A sign on the front of the store also indicates that there’s a pharmacy department inside.
The store’s ample checkout counter has numbered stations (eight altogether) and a flat-screen display to direct customers to the next available cashier, designed to quickly serve customers so they can get on their way.