Duane Reade Opens Premium Drugstore ‘Experience’ on Wall Street

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Walgreens’ New York-centric Duane Reade division is throwing a red carpet opening tonight for its flagship store on Wall Street. That’s right — a VIP bash to celebrate opening a new drugstore in a city that has one (it seems) on every other corner.

Duane Reade, which has been remodeling its stores, has been putting on a show to promote its new locations, including Broadway-style dancers and tuxedoed street teams. But this opening will top them all.

The 22,000-sq.-ft. new location will be open 24/7, in The Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, an iconic address that once upon a time was a bank hall known as the “Crown Jewel of Wall Street” and touted as the tallest building in the world.

40 Wall Street, which opens its doors to the public at 7am on Wednesday, is the chain’s most ambitious, glittering and elaborate store to date, geared to its moneyed, rushed, picky and well-heeled neighborhood clientele.

The elite amenities on offer certainly ‘Trump’ DR’s other Manhattan locations to date.[more]

The location’s VIP features include:

• A no-appointment-required “Doctor On Premises” service and the chain’s first pharmacy via the “Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network” system, the largest pharmacy network in the US.

• A hair salon (including shampoos, blow-outs, manicures and massages, not to mention a nail salon with Essie and OPI polish, not Sally Hansen); a virtual makeover kiosk, cell phone charging station (lock and leave while you shop), and a shoe shine station with all proceeds donated to New York-based charities. The minimal, upscale-looking beauty department offers better-than-drugstore brands, skin analysis, and an automatic fragrance sampler with up to 40 different scents.

• A food market boasting natural and organic, fresh fruits, vegetables, wraps, sandwiches and salads including fresh sushi (complete with chef) and a juice and smoothie bar to appeal to Wall Streeters on the go — or they can hit the on-site Starbucks coffee and bakery, or grab a soda from a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine dispensing 130 varieties of fountain drinks.

• A 20-foot official NYSE in-store ticker, newsstand stocked with financial newspapers and magazines, fresh flowers, and the biggest Duane Reade/HP digital photo center to date are also featured. 

• The store also has its own web address, plus Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare check-ins.

If it’s a tad overwhelming, there’s a holographic “Virtual Assistant” to acquaint you with DR in-store features, custom designed by Tensator, using the latest in imaging and audio-visual technology to create the illusion of a real person.

“As our customers shop across fewer retailers, we have positioned 40 Wall Street to best service the ‘need-it-now’ trips of the area’s growing residential and professional populations, offering an ‘up market’ fresh food proposition and their one-stop shop solution,” commented Paul Tiberio, SVP merchandising & CMO, Duane Reade.

It’s the highest pinnacle of the chain’s New York Living Made Easy vision.

“This space signifies great historical achievement, where it took workers just 93 days to build the entire steel frame of this 72-story building in 1930. Since then, it has been transformed for the new era, mirroring Duane Reade’s strategic brand repositioning today. 40 Wall Street is the latest phase in introducing our iconic New York brand to its modern relevancy with our New York metropolitan area customers,” said Joe Magnacca, President of Duane Reade and President of Daily Living Products and Solutions for Walgreens, in a press release (he previewed the new location at last week’s HBA Global Beauty Expo in New York).

As for locals’ reactions? The New York Times‘ City Room blog quotes one Wall Streeter saying, “I don’t know about the sushi. I’d have to smell it first. But I’ll try anything once.”

Consider that Duane Reade recently received the IBM Retail User Group 2011 Retail Innovation Award for “replacement of hardware and software to comply with the parent company directive to interface to a common pharmacy solution, in a limited span of time, with a limited budget.” Wait until next year’s awards.

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