Duane Reade expands in-store skin care boutiques

NEW YORK Manhattan-based pharmacy retailer Duane Reade has been quietly expanding and enhancing its in-store skin care boutiques and as of early next year expects to have about 35 centers in operation.

Introduced in 2004 in four store locations, the prestige brand-bearing boutiques, formerly named Skin Fitness Centres, are Euro-style centers staffed by beauty advisors. The centers sell higher-end skin care brands Vichy Laboratories from L’Oreal, Avene from Pierre Fabre, Lierac Paris brand and La Roche-Posay.

“We are looking for above average volume stores that have high indexes in beauty,” said Julie Adams, divisional manager for skin care at Duane Reade. Adams said the company expects to have 19 centers in operation by year-end, and early next year plans to open another 16 locations.

To better reflect Duane Reade’s mission to be a health and wellness destination, the centers have been renamed and are now called Skin Wellness Centers.

Duane Reade, which is in the midst of revamping its stores as part of its turnaround plan, has also situated the beauty advisor desk and skin analysis equipment to be in-line with the wall, facing outward so beauty shoppers can see the screen. Previously, the desk was located in the middle of the center. Also, to make the most of its retail space, the size of the centers has largely been trimmed down to four bays from six bays. There’s also a tester bar so beauty shoppers can try before they buy.

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