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Chain Store Age | Store of the Year Retail Design - 2011

1st Place

GDUSA - 2011

American Graphic Design Award

American Package Design Awards - 2011



Duane Reade

New York

A Forge by CBX Initiative

The Call

The iconic NYC drugstore Duane Reade has served “the city that never sleeps” for decades. Despite, or perhaps because of, its store-on-every-corner footprint, its retail experience and own-brand offering were largely ignored, perceived as a dated and irrelevant mix. CBX helped re-create Duane Reade, turning it into destination shopping—refreshed store layouts, a new and innovative own brand portfolio, newly designed collateral—all within 18 months.

What we did

Design Strategy
Packaging Design
Content Strategy
Retail Design

The Work

Research confirmed that the Duane Reade brand was not aligned with NYC customers and what they care about. Also, their price perception lagged behind the competition. Accordingly, we began to reimagine and redesign the Duane Reade retail experience and created a private label portfolio of brands centered around the mantra “New York Living Made Easy.”

We curated a visual language blending insider knowledge with the city’s international icons and translated that across store environments, all consumer touchpoints, and a private label portfolio encompassing 2,800 SKUs across five brands, including Delish, Apt. 5, and Skyline. Each brand had its own New York–inspired positioning, offering, and price point. We also created a series of brands to enable Duane Reade to develop new service offerings, including LOOK Boutique (a cosmetic department that included consultation experts), Upmarket (for fresh food on the go), and Brew York City—where trendy New Yorkers could fill growlers with their favorite craft beers.

The dramatic overhaul and introduction of new experiences not only set Duane Reade apart, but it also changed the entire dynamic within the drug channel, and set a new standard for private label brands.

The Work

The Impact

• Private label sales doubled
• LOOK Boutique generated 25% more sales
• Purchased by Walgreens for $1.2B

The Impact