By  on September 18, 2013

NEW YORK — Duane Reade executives celebrated surpassing the one million Twitter-followers mark Tuesday night on the sales floor of its 40 Wall Street flagship store here.

Officials from Twitter, Walgreens and Duane Reade mingled with bloggers and vendors snacking on Duane Reade’s own sushi and slushies. According to Calvin Peters, digital communications manager for Duane Reade, the Walgreens-owned chain has become Twitter’s most-followed retail chain in the drug, food and mass arena — with more followers than giants Wal-Mart, Target or Sears.

From September 2012 to now, Duane Reade organically grew its Twitter following by more than 6,700 percent. “Duane Reade went from 10,000 followers last July on the platform to one million currently,” said Chris Riedy, senior sales manager, Twitter.

Duane Reade calls its strategy “parallel persuasion,” an approach generating return on investment through omnichannel engagement. “This social milestone is all about our customers and represents the ability and focus we have to seamlessly reach them whenever and wherever they are with useful content they crave and now have come to expect via effective two-way communications,” said Peters.

To illustrate its Twitter presence, Duane Reade constructed a huge digital billboard displaying tweets during the event, which also showcased new beauty lines such as V-Beauté skin care. “We are actually at 1.1 million now,” added Peters.

Legwear was an example of how Twitter drives Duane Reade’s sales. The chain had a 28 percent lift in sales of legwear attributed to impressions generated from a promoted tweet campaign called “Show Us Some Leg” at a time when the industry experienced a 5 percent decrease in sales.

Duane Reade has averaged a 4 percent engagement rate for promoted tweets, exceeding the industry average of 2 percent. Much of the success is attributed to partnering with power bloggers who have huge Twitter followings via shopper marketing service Collective Bias. They tweet the brand’s messaging to 98,000 followers. Next up is a Halloween campaign.

“We are extremely proud of these achievements, as they are a reflection of Duane Reade as an iconic New York City retailer, our amazing omnichannel customers and engaged social media community,” said Deepika Pandey, vice president digital marketing and customer experience for Walgreens. “We’re already focused on attracting our next million followers.”

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