40 Wall Street, known as the "Crown Jewel of Wall Street," once held the title of the tallest building in the world. Now, it is home to a 22,000-square-foot Duane Reade flagship store and one of the drugstore chain's most innovative locations to date, which opened yesterday, July 6th. The new 24-hour store will have a decided "up market" focus, from its health care, food and beauty offerings to exclusive services and amenities never before seen in a Duane Reade or any other drugstore. Prominent at the store, is the Virtual Assistant, custom designed for Duane Reade by Tensator, that will welcome and introduce customers to the many new store features by utilizing the latest in holographic imaging and digital signage technology to create the illusion of a real person.
The technology, the Tensator Virtual Assistant, presents a female greeter who welcomes entering customers and provides information on the store. The greeter has seven different scripts, each of which speaks to a different store element.
“All seven run on a continuous loop,” commented Keith Carpentier, senior business development manager-retail, Lawrence, a Tenstaor Group Company, Bay Shore, N.Y. Duane Reade is the first retailer in the U.S. to deploy the Virtual Assistant technology. It has also been rolled out in the United Kingdom, at London Luton and Birmingham Airports.
“Our Virtual Greeter is an essential part of the ‘wow factor’ we have built into our newest store and serves as ambassador of the new Duane Reade experience,” said Paul Tiberio, senior VP merchandising and CMO, Duane Reade. “The virtual aspect captures shoppers’ attention from the moment they enter the store -- engaging their visual and auditory senses.”
"This store represents a milestone, with the best ideas of Duane Reade and Walgreens setting a new benchmark for health and daily living," said Walgreens President and CEO Greg Wasson. "As part of the Walgreens family of companies, Duane Reade is taking an important step in its highly visible re-branding initiatives with the opening of this store."
Joe Magnacca, President of Duane Reade and President of Daily Living Products and Solutions for Walgreens, said, "This space signifies great historical achievement, where it took workers just 93 days to build the entire steel frame of this 72-story building in 1930. Since then, it has been transformed for the new era, mirroring Duane Reade's strategic brand repositioning today. 40 Wall Street is the latest phase in introducing our iconic New York brand to its modern relevancy with our New Yorkmetropolitan area customers."
Qualified medical attention will be on-hand with the company's signature, no-appointment-required "Doctor On Premises" service that provides urgent, affordable and quality health care, including Duane Reade's first pharmacy "Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network." The new system will link to Walgreens pharmacy system, the largest pharmacy network in the U.S. New Yorkers, out-of-state residents and visitors now can have their Walgreens pharmacy information available at thisDuane Reade location for a seamless patient experience that will also include prescription "ready" text messaging.
An expanded beauty department will feature the award-winning LOOK Boutique offering before/after virtual makeovers, skin analysis from Philips Crystalize, and an automatic fragrance sampler that will allow customers to try more than 40 different scents on their wrist. A nail salon will feature manicures, gels, the latest colors from OPI and essie, and a hair salon by Phyto Universe with services like hair/scalp analysis, blowouts and styling from a certified hair care professional. High-end, salon grade skin/hair products and accessories will be available from Nuxe and other trusted brands.
Duane Reade will bring the best of its New York Living Made Easy vision with store offerings that will include: a Sushi Station, featuring a chef and full menu from edamame to elaborate rolls; The Juice Market, offering fresh-made specialty themed smoothies; a Starbucks coffee and fresh bakery counter; a Coca-Cola "Freestyle" machine dispensing 130 varieties of Coca Cola fountain drinks; and an expanded natural and organic section containing fresh fruits, vegetables, wraps, sandwiches and salads made daily; including other products exclusive to Duane Reade.
Other New York City conveniences include daily fresh flowers available for any occasion and the biggest Duane Reade/HP digital photo center to date.