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Walgreens’ Look Boutique gives beauty section a makeover

BY Antoinette Alexander

Nestled in Washington, D.C.’s, Chinatown is the recently opened Walgreens flagship store. The store, which marks the retailer’s seventh Walgreens flagship location, features a "Walgreens" sign with Mandarin and Chinese characters that translate as "pharmacy," and its interior beauty department — better known as a Look Boutique — is among the most impressive yet.

With wrought-iron signage that is fashioned after the White House entrance gate, the Look Boutique is home to the second full-line display of Alliance Boots’ No7 — a top-selling brand in the United Kingdom for face, lip and eye makeup. The first is in Walgreens’ Los Angeles flagship store, and the fixtures are the same as what is presented to shoppers in the U.K. market, but with special items developed for the United States.

In addition, specially trained beauty advisers are on hand to help shoppers with their beauty needs, and a Walgreens’ Nail Bar offers professional manicures with the latest on-trend shades. There’s also a brow bar that offers expert shaping and grooming services.

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Meth-resistant PSE

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — Westport Pharmaceuticals has been showcasing its Zephrex-D "meth-resistant" pseudoephedrine-based decongestant that is now available in retail stores throughout Missouri. It’s a hot product as much for the sales generated, as for the sales not lost.

Sales of the top four PSE products almost reached $400 million in calendar 2012, up around 8% versus comparable 2011 PSE sales. But that’s not the only sales figure retailers will be tracking — stocking Zephrex-D means less shrink in ancillary meth-producing supplies as meth cooks source their PSE elsewhere.

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Making OTC an impulse buy

BY DSN STAFF

UrgentRx’s fast powder OTC treatments are beginning to show up at the check-stand. As a brand offering, it represents a unique delivery format with unique merchandising opportunities. DSN sought out founder and president Jordan Eisenberg for the details.

DSN: What is the point of differentiation for the line?

Jordan Eisenberg: UrgentRx makes a line of flavored powder OTCs … to treat things ranging from headaches to a heart attack. Because they’re flavored powders, you pour them directly into your mouth. They don’t need liquid, and they work a lot faster than pills.

DSN: Is this a new purchase opportunity or an alternative to traditional, say, analgesics?

Eisenberg: The whole premise of UrgentRx is that it’s an incremental purchase. It is not a cannibalistic purchase; it is actually a supplemental purchase. We are not trying to replace [the OTCs] in your cabinet. … We’re really designed for placement at impulse locations in the store.

DSN: How do you help create that impulse purchase excitement?

Eisenberg: What you’ll see in our merchandising is we’ve got a really strong stop statement that says, "Right Now Relief Center." And "Right Now" and "Relief" is very bold to the consumer and really grabs their attention. Then when you look at the actual line of products, you’ll see that we carry through this very bold, very "in your face" packaging that the consumer can’t help but read.

DSN: We’ve heard EMS units carry UrgentRx Aspirin. How did that come about?

Eisenberg: I had watched my father, who’s in good health but in his 60s, take aspirin wrapped in cellophane and put it in his wallet in case he had a heart attack. If you take aspirin during a heart attack, you’re about 23% more likely to survive. But of course heart attacks don’t take place while you’re standing in a store, but rather while you’re out living you’re life. … To date, we’ve saved more than a dozen lives that we know of, but probably many more because we’re also now carried on ambulances across the country. Outside of our retail expansion, we’ve been really successful with the emergency medical side of things. … We’re also carried by several airlines, like American Airlines, and pretty much every ski patrol across the country.

DSN: What are your plans for this year?

Eisenberg: We’ve got some pretty aggressive plans to launch nationally with some major national retailers. We’re pretty far down the line, with a number of them looking to roll out probably this summer or early fall. Our goal is to be in 25,000 to 27,000 doors by that time. From there, we have a pretty aggressive marketing campaign that we’re spooling up right now to support that distribution.

For the full audio Q&A, click here.

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