Walgreens' Joe Magnacca, a Merchant With a Passion
The first time we met Joe Magnacca, now president of Daily Living Products and Solutions at Walgreens, he had just joined Duane Reade from Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada. He was at a press event for Wet ‘n’ Wild. Sometimes, but not often, buyers come to press parties but rarely does a top executive. He instantly stood out as a merchant with a passion for the beauty category.
During his time as Shoppers Drug Mart, he saw first hand how the category builds loyal shoppers. And, he witnessed that when done right, vendors who don’t typically sell to drugstores are willing to give the channel a try.
A few years later he was promoted to president of Duane Reade and his thoughts were translated into a new beauty format called Look Boutique. An enthusiastic Magnacca toured reporters through the store located smack across the street from Macy’s in Manhattan.The store truly represented a breakthrough in U.S. drugstore retailing. When Walgreens purchased Duane Reade, the retailer was savvy enough to retain not only Magnacca, but the beauty department concepts developed at Duane Reade under the Look Boutique banner. Magnacca’s title today is a mouthful, but so is his role at the nation’s largest drugstore chain.
His role in elevating beauty helped make Duane Reade Beauty Inc’s mass retailer of the year.
This week in Walgreens’ home market, Chicago, shoppers got to see the latest version of the Look Boutique. The department also benefits from the spot on touch of Shannon Curtin, the top beauty merchant at the chain. She and her team will monitor this “laboratory” store with a keen eye and experiment with other lines and services. The first beauty sale of the opening was $245. One blogger called the store “like Sephora having a cool yuppie kid.”
Not every Walgreens in America will sport the same upscale touches as the store opened on Randolph and State Street. However, Walgreens has several others on its plate including one that will bow in a few weeks in Las Vegas.At Walgreens’ shareholder meeting yesterday, attendees were treated to a mini Look Boutique erected at the Navy Pier. Indeed, beauty is a pillar Walgreens is building its future foundation on, along with other key categories.
Beauty isn’t the only wow department in the store. There are more than 700 wines, a humidor, an on-site sushi chef and a coffee bar with a barista.
At the annual meeting, Walgreens discussed long-term plans. Among those is the goal to transform stores from traditional drugstores to retail health and daily living outlets. The use of iPads is helping pharmacists play a greater role in health care. Much has been said of the fusion of health and beauty in stores. Walgreens is showing how that concept can be a reality.
People, Places and Things
Target wowed the press yesterday with new concept shops that will debut in May at select stores and be “open” for about six weeks. Beauty is among those with an exclusive partnership with Cos Bar, known best for its position in upscale resorts such as Aspen. Target’s director of fashion and design partnership Brian Robinson discussed the concept. In addition to Cos Bar, the initial group of specialty shops includes The Candy Store in San Francisco, which sells hard-to-find retro sweets as well as candy from abroad; The Privet House, a retailer that sells vintage furniture and home accessories in Warren, and Greenwich, Conn.; The Webster House, a designer clothing store in Miami, and Polka Dog Bakery in Boston.
Robinson: This puts Target at the frontier of what’s next in retail. With (these shops), we’re building on that sense of discovery by offering our guests a chance to experience one-of-kind specialty stores and boutiques through collections that have been specifically tailored to their wants and needs. Target will continue to seek new partnerships with designers as it has in the past.
Robinson: This is such a different idea because of one simple notion, it is co-created. So its not product that is in the shops today that we are bringing to Target, it is product that has not existed before.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews