Back in September STORES featured a bold spread on the new Duane Reade drugstore at 40 Wall Street. With more bells and whistles than had ever been amassed in a drugstore environment, it was groundbreaking, show-stopping, business sensitive and savvy, all rolled into one 22,000 sq. ft. store.
Turns out plenty of experts have taken notice. Recently it was announced that the store 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 store represents a collaborative effort between Duane Reade, New York-based branding and retail design consultancy CBX and Toronto-based consultants Joe Jackman Brand, Inc. Opened last July, the flagship store for the iconic, 256-unit New York chain (now a part of Walgreen Co.) was developed and shaped by its location in the heart of New York City’s Financial District.
The 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 that greet customers are dramatic stone arch bays, marble columns, 28-ft.-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.
Many of the store’s features were guided by Duane Reade’s vision statement, “New York Living Made Easy.” The store features easy-to-navigate spaces with an in-store Starbucks, sushi bar, juice bar and prepared foods to go, as well as such new departments as a nail bar and hair salon.
There’s the customary pharmacy and array of OTC medications, but there’s also a no-appointment-needed doctor on duty and beauty consultants to assist shoppers with makeovers — all in a well-lit, inviting setting. Time-pressed customers can also count on such amenities as a cell phone charging station. Wall Streeters on hand for a quick lunch or coffee break can still keep an eye on the market, thanks to a 20-ft. NYSE ticker.
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. The award was presented on Jan. 16 in New York City at a ceremony coinciding with the National Retail Federation’s annual conference.