Online Exclusives

Duane Reade's Modern Day Piazza

By Christine Esposito, Associate Editor | September 1, 2011

Nestled near the New York Stock Exchange, Duane Reade has opened its largest store to date and there's a big emphasis on beauty inside the historic space.

Nestled in the curvy streets of lower Manhattan right near the famed New York Stock Exchange, Duane Reade’s newest store at 40 Wall Street occupies a space that was once called the “Crown Jewel of Wall Street.” At 22,000-sq.-ft. this new Duane Reade flagship store is the chain's most innovative location to date, offering the wares one expects from the venerable New York-based operation—cough medicine, diapers, mascara and mints—but so much more, like sushi and scalp analysis.


The new 24-hour store has what the firm calls an "up market" focus—and there is plenty of emphasis on HBA with bright, inviting and interactive displays and counters that look more department than drugstore.

Specifically, the new space has
an expanded beauty department that features its award-winning Look Boutique, which offers before/after virtual makeovers, skin analysis from Philips Crystalize, and an automatic fragrance sampler that allows customers to try more than 40 different scents on their wrist or a paper blotter.

According to Joe Magnacca, president of Duane Reade and president of Daily Living Products and Solutions for Walgreens,the 40 Wall Street location mirrors Duane Reade's strategic brand repositioning.

The store has a nail salon that provides manicures and quick touch-ups with the latest colors from OPI and Essie. There is also an hair salon by Phyto Universe that offers blowouts and styling in a separate room complete with a massive crystal chandelier that screams this is not your typical Duane Reade.

“This isn’t your grandmother’s drugstore,” Magnacca told Happi. “This is different than a typical drugstore. We are creating a different experience in the store, using beauty and food as differentiators.”

When Duane Reade embarked on the project, decisions were also made to retain many of the space’s historical features such as its soaring columns, marble floors and even a fireplace. The building, which built in 1930, was designated a landmark in 1998 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Historical features aside, there’s plenty of high-tech. Take the Virtual Assistant, the custom-designed hologram welcomes customers as they ascend the escalator into the retail space.

In addition, the 40 Wall Street unit is stocking new brands to lure younger consumers. Along with OPI and Essie in the nail category, the store is adding Butter London, a hip lacquer brand with a fast-growing fan base.

“Our move into prestige and premium is attracting a younger consumers,” Magnacca said.

All of the beauty service concepts in the new flagship are designed to sell more HBA products. For example, scalp and hair analysis determines what type of products consumers should be using.

“This helps un-commoditize the category,” Magnacca said. “It isn’t about buy what is on sale, it is about buying what is right to help your hair.”
Duane Reade—which was acquired by Walgreens in 2010—acts an incubator for its parent company.

“The beauty space is on steroids, from a space point of view,” he said about the 40 Wall Street store, noting that many elements inside can be brought into other company stores in the future.

According to Magnacca, change has been a long-time coming in the drugstore channel.

“We believe the drugstore is tired; it hasn’t been refreshed in years,” he said. “We couldn’t be more pleased to be a game changer.”
  • The World Comes to Orlando

    The World Comes to Orlando

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

  • The Plex  Phenomenon

    The Plex Phenomenon

    Denise Costrini, Croda North America||December 1, 2016
    Croda details the hair-protecting qualities of bond multipliers and the company’s new bond-building formulation system.

  • New Hair Care Ingredients

    December 1, 2016
    Check out the latest releases from suppliers.

  • Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    Patent Activity: Colgate-Palmolive

    December 6, 2016
    New oral care compositions, the use of radish root ferment filtrate in a cleanser and more.

  • Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Cos Bar: Turning 40 and Hitting Fast Forward

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 21, 2016
    With a recent investor infusion, a new CEO and rebranding effort underway, this luxury beauty retailer has big plans.

  • Organic Matter

    Organic Matter

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    FTC and USDA hold a public roundtable to discuss consumers’ perception of organic claims.

  • Help for Up Above

    Help for Up Above

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 14, 2016
    A brand from Down Under is touting a new formulation for what’s missing on top.

  • Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Get Ready, ‘Cause Here it Comes…

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||November 1, 2016
    Skinphonic is a new brand created with a team of beauty experts and fronted by singer Smokey Robinson.

  • Hair for Me!

    Hair for Me!

    October 31, 2016
    Function of Beauty fulfills the promise of personalization in the beauty space—one bottle at a time.

  • A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    A Facial Bar Grows in Brooklyn

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 24, 2016
    With three doors in Canada, Blitz Facial Bar opens its first US location in one of the hippest areas of New York.

  • Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    Coming Clean on a Host of Issues

    October 17, 2016
    Cleaning Products Conference is set for Nov. 9-11, 2016 in Washington DC.

  • Let the Magic Begin!

    Let the Magic Begin!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||October 10, 2016
    IFSCC Congress gets underway at Walt Disney World this month.

  • Ogee Opens for Business

    Ogee Opens for Business

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    Banking on the power of jojoba oil, a Vermont-based start-up is the newest player in organic luxury skin care.

  • P&G’s Latest Patents

    P&G’s Latest Patents

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||October 10, 2016
    A look at recent patent and IP related news from the biggest household and personal care player in the US.

  • A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    A Cosmetic Armor Against Pollution

    Julia Comas, Cristina Davi, Elena Canadas, Laia Gonzalez, Raquel Delgado, Lipotec SAU||October 3, 2016
    Lipotec’s Pollushield creates a barrier between skin and pollutants and boosts the antioxidative potential of skin.

  • Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    Cosmetic Chemists Head to Orlando Next Month

    September 26, 2016
    Organizing Chair Guy Padulo explains why you should attend the IFSCC Congress.

  • Restoring Rembrandt

    Restoring Rembrandt

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 26, 2016
    Ranir LLC has acquired Rembrandt, an iconic name in teeth whitening, and plans to make it a staple in the value segment.

  • Active Agents

    Active Agents

    September 19, 2016
    On the surface, surfactants may seem staid, but the market, and the supplier activity driving it, is bubbling.

  • Expanding Erbaviva

    Expanding Erbaviva

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||September 13, 2016
    A farm-to-bottle organic brand celebrates its 20th anniversary with a new look, new products and plans to expand in the US.

  • Lauder’s Latest Patents

    Lauder’s Latest Patents

    September 1, 2016
    A composition with NIR light emitting material, a skin care device and more awarded to this beauty business giant.

  • ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    ‘Lash’-ing Out!

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 29, 2016
    All eyes are on Lash Star Beauty, a lash-centric beauty brand that recently made its QVC debut.

  • Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    Long Term Sustainability In the Nonwovens Market

    August 23, 2016
    Learn more at Cleaning Products USA, Nov. 9-11, 2016

  • Fro Yo!

    Fro Yo!

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 22, 2016
    Project Beauty dishes out Hairgurt, a line of vitamin-rich hair shampoos and conditioning masques.

  • TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    TLC for Those Who Need It Most

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 22, 2016
    New curriculum debuting at Bellus Academy helps estheticians treat a population that needs TLC.

  • Individualism IS The American Way

    Individualism IS The American Way

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    Why blue hair and BB creams still thrill US consumers.

  • Red, Black & Blue

    Red, Black & Blue

    August 8, 2016
    No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Americans expect their finances to get bloodied and bruised in 2017.

  • Athletes, Not Objects

    Athletes, Not Objects

    Nancy Jeffries, Contributing Editor||August 1, 2016
    Dove Unveils My Beauty billboard in Times Square.

  • Patent Update

    Patent Update

    July 28, 2016
    Three-layered hair product from Lauder, palm oil extracts for wrinkle treatment and more in recently awarded patents.