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WAG rapidly opens flagship stores

BY Rob Eder

The beat goes on for Walgreens’ store development activities, as the chain last month hosted grand opening events in Boston and San Francisco — about one week apart.

Walgreens VP of merchandising, store design and well experience Bryan Pugh walked DSN through the new Boston flagship on April 30 for a special pre-opening store tour. The expansive, 25,000-plus-sq.-ft. store — the site of Boston’s historic Five Cents Savings Bank — includes more than 17,000 sq. ft. of selling space and houses more than 20,000 SKUs. The store is home to two unique features, including a new interactive kiosk from Coinstar that allows customers to sample select beauty items for $1.

Also unique to the new Boston store is a kiosk in the pharmacy that ties into the city’s Boston Moves initiative — which aims to get Boston residents to lose 1 million pounds and move 10 million miles — with Walgreens’ Steps with Balance Rewards program.

A week later, Walgreens executives were in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of another flagship store located in the Union Square area.

With the Boston and San Francisco flagship stores, the company now operates 46 Look Boutiques — with 29 currently in Duane Reade stores and 17 in Walgreens stores — with a total of 55 planned by the end of the year, Pugh told DSN.

In addition to extensive photos of the two newest stores, DSNTV recently interviewed Walgreens DVP of category strategy, innovation and space management Beth Stiller for a Virtual Store Tour segment focused on Walgreens’ key strategy in such core categories as health and beauty, and how it plays out in its flagship stores.

For extensive views of the new Boston and San Francisco stores, go to DrugStoreNews.com/photos. To see the Store Tour video with Walgreens’ Stiller, go to DrugStoreNews.com/video. DSN+ users: Simply scan any of the images at right.

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DSN to co-host pre-TSE forum: Seven ways to create the future

BY DSN STAFF

LAS VEGAS — The Mack Elevation Forum and the Drug Store News Group will co-host a one-day summit event on Aug. 9, here, at the Westin Hotel, as a special kickoff for Total Store Expo. Assembling some of the top minds in retail, "The Elevation Forum: The Seven Ideas to Create the Future," will give attendees a grasp of emerging industry best practices in strategic sales, marketing, merchandising and retail consumer packaged goods strategy.

"They best win through joint development, and they are in a constant dialogue with their partners," noted Dan Mack, founder and leader of Mack Elevation Forum, who will moderate the forum. "They unleash growth by creating the future with their retail partners."

Highlights of the forum will include:

  • Joe Magnacca, CEO of RadioShack — how to create a game-changing culture that emphasizes speed to market and customer experience;
  • Dennis Moore, Nielsen’s SVP analytics — the future of big data and how to synthesize social media, market basket and syndicated data;
  • Google head of CPG Catherine Roe — how to build an infectious brand;
  • IRI VP, general manager of strategy Larry Levin — incremental growth through localized assortments;
  • Mark Jones of IDEO, makers of the first mouse for Apple and the first Treo — how to create a culture of innovation;
  • Ken Martindale, Rite Aid COO — how to re-imagine and reinvent your business; and
  • Walgreens’ Shannon Curtin, VP beauty, personal care and seasonal — the best practices for retailer-vendor new item co-creation.

"[Like] the TED series of conferences, our mission is to create a similar experience for our industry," noted DSN publisher Wayne Bennett.

"It is not about the size of your organization," Mack noted. "It’s about the value you create with the consumer, the retailers and the industry. This is an event for leaders who are looking for an edge."

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Growing the health, beauty connection

BY Antoinette Alexander

Looking good is feeling good. It may sound cliché, but the reality is that there’s a meaningful correlation between health and beauty, and consumers who are proactive about their health also take a greater interest in their personal appearance.

Still not convinced? Then consider a recent AccentHealth survey of 700 respondents, which found that 61% of participants indicated that looking their best is an important part of how they measure their overall health — a number that grows to 73% among those who are most proactive about wellness. Among those most proactive, an overwhelming 94% said that physical appearance is important to them. Those are some pretty revealing numbers. When asked about the top characteristics that are important when buying personal care products, respondents said quality (91%), followed by health benefits (78%).

This strong connection between health and beauty is no doubt playing out at retail — through both initiatives found in the stores and consumers’ shopping habits. In this edition of The Business of Beauty, we explore some of the hottest initiatives and developments currently underway at retail in the Trending Now section. We also take a closer look at five beauty categories, including nail care and body accessories, that are experiencing solid growth and are helping to fuel overall beauty sales.

With an era of consumer-driven health care upon us, a new value-conscious shopper walking the aisles and beauty mavens who are increasingly desiring an elevated beauty experience, there’s no denying the significant correlation between health and beauty.

Yes, looking good is feeling good.

For "Dawn of the super anti-agers: Will they save your beauty department?" click here. 

For "Trending Now," click here.

For "At-home trend ‘colors’ nail care market," click here.

For "’Accessories’ give makeup, sales a boost," click here. 

For "Hydration a selling point in facial skin care," click here. 

For "Affordability, benefits give lotions a leg up," click here. 

For "Sales of false lashes continue to look up," click here. 

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