Magnacca named Duane Reade's new president

Joe Magnacca has moved up Duane Reade's corporate ladder.

NEW YORK Duane Reade has promoted Joe Magnacca to president. Magnacca previously served as SVP and chief merchandising officer.

A Duane Reade spokesperson was not immediately available to comment or provide additional information.

Magnacca, who joined Duane Reade in the second half of 2008, has been instrumental in the chain?s turnaround. A 20-plus-year veteran of the retail industry, Magnacca previously worked for Canada's Shoppers Drug Mart, where he led marketing and merchandising initiatives since 2002. He had most recently served as EVP merchandising and category management. Shoppers Drug Mart ranks as a leading Canadian retailer of beauty products and there's no doubt Magnacca has brought -- not simply to Duane Reade but to the U.S. mass market -- a new level of merchandising expertise.

"As a Canadian we look at the drug store industry a little bit differently because we have more of a European slant on the overall business, so from a U.S. perspective it is quite different," Magnacca told Drug Store News during a store tour in late 2009. "If you look at the European model they are certainly more advanced from a beauty point of view and from a convenience point of view. The European business model has really demonstrated how you can take drug to the next level."

The turnaround strategy under Magnacca and the management team at Duane Reade has been aimed at improving pharmacy, fixing the customer experience and developing a relative, urban drug store box. These efforts have grown increasingly evident to New Yorkers shopping at the chain's some 250 stores, with the most recent evidence being the opening of the new Union Square location.

As previously reported by Drug Store News, the new Union Square location, at the site formerly occupied by Virgin Superstore, is the chain's flagship store, as it will reflect the company's rejuvenation and new emphasis on health, fresh food, and higher-end beauty products.

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