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Duane Reade continues to put its stamp on New York’s Financial District.
The retailer’s newly opened outpost at 100 Broadway occupies three floors — with beauty at the top — and features several new elements, including a chopped salad and soup bar and a self-serve frozen yogurt bar. The beauty department does not include the retailer’s upscale beauty concept Look Boutique, but it is the first Duane Reade to carry the dermatologist-created brand DDF Skincare, which also is carried at Sephora and Ulta. The DDF brand is housed in the Look Rx display, formerly called the Skin Wellness Center, along side Lierac, Vichy, Avene and Rilastin. The display, manned by a trained beauty adviser, is located in close proximately to the pharmacy counter.
The beauty department does borrow certain elements from Look Boutique, including a nail bar — stocked with OPI and Essie polishes — a makeup brush bar that includes cosmetics bags, a fragrance bar and a Demeter fragrance bar.
Inside the space — a former Borders bookstore — Duane Reade kept existing architectural elements, such as the large marble columns and a carved wood ceiling with gilded accents. Large, unobstructed windows face the Trinity Church graveyard and the Canyon of Heros parade route.
“When we are developing a store, especially a flagship, we maintain the architecture and the neighborhood feel,” said Michael De Fazio, senior director of store concepts. This store, as do all the new and revamped Duane Reade outposts, illustrates the retail strategy of Joe Magnacca, president, daily living products and solutions at Walgreens, to elevate Duane Reade from a drugstore to a health and wellness destination.
“I take Joe’s strategy and vision and turn it into what it will look like at the retail level,” said De Fazio.
It’s been more than four years since Duane Reade began to overhaul its stores — replacing overstocked shelves and spotty service with sleek, well-lit displays and chipper sales associates. “‘New York Living Made Easy’ has always been our motto,” said De Fazio. “But from a content point of view, we now understand what we need to put in our stores, based on demographics” and the customer profile, which can vary widely block by block. For instance, the Duane Reade flagship located 100 yards away at 40 Wall Street — which includes the Look Boutique, along with a nail salon and express blowdry bar — serves professionals and residents in the area, said De Fazio. The store at 100 Broadway tends to capture tourists.
There are now 35 Look Boutiques across both Duane Reade and its parent company, Walgreen Co. In November, the Walgreens store at the Empire State Building will become the first Walgreens in New York City to feature the full Look Boutique concept, said De Fazio. The retailer is currently drafting plans to incorporate Boots products. In June, Walgreen Co. said it plans to acquire a 45 percent equity stake in Boots’ parent, Alliance Boots GmbH. The Boots concept — in whatever form it will take — will likely begin to rollout to stores late fall or early spring, said De Fazio. “The overall strategy is to always give our customers the newest [concepts] in the industry. Our goal is to add a department store brand.”