By  on October 5, 2007

MILLBURN, N.J. — Drug Fair of New Jersey wants shoppers to feel at home. Warm, residential lighting illuminates the beauty area. There's coffee for shoppers near the pharmacy and even a computer terminal where patients can Google their prescriptions.

"Feel comfortable shopping here" is the message from a dramatic new look that was unveiled at a renovated store here in this affluent town. The entire shopping center has been updated to better compete with national merchants moving into the area.

The chain, which operates stores under the Drug Fair and Cost Cutters logos, pulled out all the stops for its new look, including whimsical graphics designating departments such as beauty and pharmacy.

The blue signs have easy-to- understand images that convey what department is nearby. Beauty, for example, has an illustration of a woman in a bathtub. Within each department, round blue signs help identify categories. Departments include food, over-the-counter medications, pharmacy and a walk-in mini clinic.

The beauty department is located right at the front of the store and offset by three jumbo red lights hanging above the department. There is a red mosaic near the cosmetics department that also helps delineate the area.

Drug Fair has the luxury of space to experiment with numerous brands. As a shopper enters, he or she sees low and angled gondolas with trial sizes and promotional beauty products. There's also a great deal of hosiery and soft goods.

Among the promotional prepacks found on a recent visit were Coty fragrances such as JLo gift sets, Demeter fragrances and color products from Pantina, Bonne Bell and Jane. There are also seasonal prepacks based on Halloween. For Breast Cancer month, Drug Fair has several special "pink" products such as L'Oréal's Color of Hope.

The locked premium fragrance area is nearby and offers special deals on select fragrances tied to the new We Care loyalty program. Nautica Competition, for example, has a $5-off coupon tied to We Care. Beauty is an important component of We Care, with other deals on products ranging from Wet 'n' Wild to Max Factor. A sampling of the We Care deals includes $2 off Max Factor Lip Products, 50 percent off Nutra Nail nail treatments, 20 percent off La Cross nail implements and $1 off Ardell brow items.The wall of the new Drug Fair features a universal fixture that blends all of the lines together for a neat look. Revlon kicks off the lineup followed by Almay, Jane, L'Oréal, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Max Factor, Black Radiance, Styli Style and Milani. There is even the budget brand Aziza on an end aisle display. The wall is rounded out with nail care and other accessories. Just about any brand at any price point sold in mass can be found at Drug Fair.

Drug Fair, with 51 stores under either the Drug Fair or Cost Cutters logo, has emerged as one of the last remaining regional strongholds in chain drug retailing. Its stores must face competition from national chains including Walgreens and CVS — both of which are minutes away from this store. With this unit, Drug Fair shows it can keep up with the national powers with features such as the mini clinic and We Care, but also with down-home touches such as coffee and Google.

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