MAYWOOD, N.J. — Will Apt. 5 resonate with suburban Bergen County women?

Duane Reade, the 227 store New York City-based drugstore chain whose business has been built around catering to the needs of an urban market, is quietly inching across the Hudson River into New Jersey.

For several years Duane Reade has operated stores in Bayonne, Jersey City and Newark, all urban areas not unlike its operation base. Then two years ago, it opened a unit in Fort Lee, a bedroom community dotted with mid- and high rises. But since then, it has ventured deeper into the suburban Bergen County communities of Teaneck and Maywood. In all, there are currently nine stores in the Garden State.

"By yearend, we expect to open another two or three stores [in New Jersey]," said Jerry Ray, senior vice president of store operations. He said the company is interested in operating more stores in its neighboring state, providing they find "choice sites."

In the Maywood store, the chain’s new private-label cosmetics brand — Apt. 5 —is getting the same amount of space as in its Manhattan units. The back-lit fixture, set into an endcap, is situated prominently at the entrance of the beauty department, which is located on the right side of the store. The department also contains the Prestige brand and ethnic lines Black Opal and Posner, along with leading brands like Revlon, Cover Girl and Maybelline.

The cosmetics department is being leveraged as a major draw to shoppers, along with photo processing and snacks. An overhead banner in front of the store lists those three sections. And on the front window, there is also a sign promoting Apt. 5.

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