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Newest Duane Reade store features expanded fresh foods, grocery items

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Duane Reade has announced the opening of a new 24-hour store in Chelsea that reflects the latest phase in its ongoing transformation and features an expanded fresh food and grocery offering.

The store, located at 16th Street and 8th Avenue, houses an expanded food section that comprises 40% of the 15,000-sq.-ft., two-level store. In addition to single-serve entrees, customers can now buy fresh produce, including bagged salad and packaged celery and carrots, along with freshly packed deli meats. Breakfast items will include fresh-cut fruit, baked goods, as well as self-serve Starbucks coffee. The store also offers more than 500 SKUs of frozen convenience items such as boneless chicken breasts, hamburger patties, frozen vegetables and appetizers.

The recently introduced DR Delish exclusive food and beverage brand will be featured as well an expanded array of organic grocery items. Fresh food deliveries will be made daily.

The addition of fresh food and more groceries eventually will be rolled out to other select locations, according to Duane Reade.

The new Chelsea store also features the company’s fifth walk-in medical care location, dubbed “Doctor on Premises. The physician-staffed “Doctor on Premises” locations are operated by New York Walk-In Medical P.C. in association with Consumer Health Services.

Shoppers will also find at this new store the new “Look Boutique” offering many prestige beauty brands, facials, manicures and brow-shaping services. This store-within-a-store prestige beauty concept marks the retailer’s fourth “Look Boutique” location.

As previously reported, giant rival Walgreens is looking to acquire Duane Reade’s 250-plus stores in a deal valued at $1.08 billion, including the assumption of debt.

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Yaksitch named VP marketing and merchandising for Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division

BY Antoinette Alexander

FORT WORTH, Texas Albertsons’ Dallas-Fort Worth division has named Frank Yaksitch as VP marketing and merchandising, effective March 12, according to published reports.

Yaksitch, who has been with Albertsons for more than 35 years, most recently served as SVP of operations for Albertsons Intermountain West division.

During his tenure with Albertsons, Yaksitch has also held a variety of increasingly responsible positions, including store director and district manager.

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Walgreens’ monthly sales rise

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens had February sales of $5.31 billion, an increase of 3.2% from $5.14 billion for the same month in 2009.

The drug store chain also reported that its same-store sales increased 0.4%.

February pharmacy sales increased 3.7%, while comparable pharmacy sales increased 0.9%. Comparable pharmacy sales were negatively affected by 2.4 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months and a lower incidence of flu compared with February 2009. Pharmacy sales accounted for 64.5% of total sales for the month.

Total front-end sales increased 4.5% in February, while comparable store front-end sales decreased 0.6%, which the company said were impacted by continued weak demand for discretionary items and by lower incidence of flu.

Year-to-date sales for fiscal 2010 for the first six months totaled $33.34 billion, up 6.1% from the same period last year.

In the month of February, the chain opened seven stores, acquired 11 and closed one. At Feb. 28, Walgreens operated 7,679 locations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

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