Duane Reade wants to eat department stores’ lunch — at least when it comes to beauty.
The retailer has unveiled a glittering beauty concept at 40 Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. Inside a vast, vaulted hall with marble arches lies an express hair salon, nail polish bar, virtual makeover station and fragrances galore. The 22,000-square-foot store is Duane Reade’s largest outpost and marks the drugstore chain’s — and perhaps the industry’s — most dramatic attempt to reinvent the sector’s beauty department and gain market share from department stores. They still have a long way to go, however, especially in fragrance: In 2010, department stores held a 47.6 percent share of U.S. fragrance sales, which totaled $5.3 billion, while drugstores accounted for 9.8 percent of overall sales, according to Euromonitor International.
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