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New store further cements branding with Walgreens

BY Antoinette Alexander

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Walk through Duane Reade’s new flagship store at 40 Wall St., and it is clear to see why this 22,000-sq.-ft. location is important.

(THE NEWS: Duane Reade’s new flagship is glimpse of drug store of the future. For the full story, click here.) 

For starters, the co-branding “Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network” represents connectivity of the Duane Reade stores to Walgreens’ pharmacy universe. This connectively quitely has been taking place behind the scenes, but this new store marks the first time that Duane Reade has introduced the concept to its consumers.

Then there’s the food. Yes, in recent months, several pharmacy retailers have made a greater push into “fresh,” but this store completely redefines what it means to sell food in a drug store. There are in-store sushi chefs, a juice/smoothie bar and partnerships with local New York City gourmet retailers and such eateries as Zabars.

Another important element of the store is the innovative technology from the virtual assistant at the door to the magical makeover tool in beauty to the high-tech, mix-and-match Coke machine.

Even the beauty department has been beautified. In many stores, Duane Reade already has revamped its beauty department with its upscale Look Boutique, but this store has an expanded Look Boutique and beauty services, such as manicures and hair styling, typically not found in a drug chain. 

This store is clearly a drug store of the future.

For more on Duane Reade’s newest store, click here for Drug Store News‘ exclusive video coverage featuring Walgreens’ Joe Magnacca. For photos of the store, click here to view Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

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Giant-Carlisle to open first Philadelphia store

BY Alaric DeArment

PHILADELPHIA — Giant-Carlisle plans to open its first store in Philadelphia next week, the grocery chain said.

Giant-Carlisle, officially known as Giant Food Stores and owned by Dutch supermarket operator Royal Ahold, announced that it would open the 74,000-sq.-ft. store on July 20. The company already operated stores in the Philadelphia suburbs, but the new store is the first within the city itself.

In addition to the usual selection of food products, the store will emphasize health and wellness, with an assortment of natural and organic products in a dedicated section called Nature’s Promise Marketplace and the Healthy Ideas labeling system, which ranks foods according to their nutritional value.

The store also will have a full-service pharmacy that will include informational materials about healthy living, drugs, disease and diet. The company said the store would offer the same health and beauty products found in drug stores, but at prices 15% to 20% lower than in chain drug stores.

An on-site gas station will allow customers to save money with Gas Extra Rewards, which lets them get 10 cents off per gallon of gas for every $100 in grocery and out-of-pocket pharmacy purchases at any Giant using a BonusCard during promotional periods.

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Monthly fuel bills add up to less spending

BY Michael Johnsen

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Size matters, especially if it’s the size of the monthly fuel bill. Just because gas prices haven’t eclipsed $5 as many analysts had feared, doesn’t mean those lower-than-expected prices at the pump aren’t impacting buying and trip decisions, as evidenced by this latest survey. 

(THE NEWS: Shoppers continue to alter purchasing behaviors amid rising gas prices. For the full story, click here.)

As of July 11, the average price for a gallon of regular was $3.631, according to AAA’s "Daily Fuel Gauge Report," and that’s almost 92 cents higher than this time last year. 

Rising gas prices remains a big concern for retailers — 92% of Drug Store News readers said retailers certainly would lose trips if gas prices shot above $5 per gallon. However, consumer sensitivity to prices at the pump appears to be much lower than that $5 mark. 

Retailers who underscore their value proposition stand the most to gain with today’s consumer: a shopper still reeling from the latest economic recession who’s concerned over what seems to be ever-increasing energy prices.

For example, CVS/pharmacy is going a long way toward raising its value visibility with its “MoneyTrashers” program, where the retailer delivers quarterly ExtraBucks reward statements to the mailbox. CVS/pharmacy also is tapping into social media to help drive that value proposition — “liking” CVS on Facebook, for example, provides tips to loyal consumers on how best to save at their local pharmacy. 

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