Duane Reade’s flagship store in Manhattan’s financial district took first place honors in the Convenience Store/Pharmacy category at the Retail Design Institute’s 41st annual international awards program last month.
Occupying the ground floor and mezzanine of a 1930s-era tower at 40 Wall Street, the 22,000-square-foot project represented a collaborative effort between Duane Reade, New York-based branding and retail design consultancy CBX, and Toronto-based consultants Joe Jackman Brand, Inc..
Dozens of new stores that opened during 2011 competed for honors in categories ranging from full-line department stores and specialty stores to supermarkets. All submitted projects were judged by a panel of retail design practitioners on circulation, lighting, finishes, visual merchandising, graphics and way-finding, branding and fixturing.
Opened last July, the flagship Duane Reade store for the 256-unit New York chain (now a part of Walgreen Co.) was designed for its location in the heart of New York City’s Financial District. The project goal was to build a state-of-the-art prototypical pharmacy/convenience store, yet remain sensitive to the architecture in the storied space where the Rockefeller family operated its bank. Some of these vintage architectural elements greeting customers are dramatic stone arch bays, marble columns, 28-foot-high ceilings and gold-gilded accents. Decidedly more high tech is a virtual “talking” greeter (holography and A/V technology), which directs customers from the entrance on their journey for prescriptions or everyday basics.