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NEW YORK (2/7/2012) —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. The award was presented on Jan. 16 in New York City at a ceremony coinciding with the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual conference.

Dozens of new stores 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 store for the iconic, 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.

Many of the store’s features were guided by Duane Reade’s vision statement, “New York Living Made Easy.” Customers will find a fast and easy-to-navigate space with an in-store Starbucks, sushi bar, juice bar, 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.

Duane Reade’s prototypical colors of blue, green and mauve are used in strategic places throughout the space, while signage is minimally places. The design of the Up Market convenience foods area on the store’s mezzanine is kept fresh, fun and contemporary with such touches as black-and-white subway tile, quartz-topped stand-up counters, sleek reach-in coolers and a playful text wall. Mindful of the Financial District digs, 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. “On other hand, the nail bar and hair salon were designed to create a serene break from the hustle and bustle of Wall Street,” explained Joseph Bona, President of CBX’s Retail Division. The spaces are accented with crystal chandeliers emitting a soft mauve halo glow while light music plays overhead.

“We are honored to be among the winners, and very pleased to have had the opportunity to collaborate on this very special project with the progressive vision of Mike DeFazio, Duane Reade Senior Director of Store Concepts, and retail consultants Joe Jackman and Vern Gomes of Joe Jackman Brands,” commented Bona. “The Duane Reade flagship on Wall Street was a huge hit with our participants of the NRF Retail Tour series,” said Brian Dyches, International President of the Retail Design Institute. “We took more than 100 global retail executives into the space and they were simply wowed by the ‘fit’ of Duane Reade within this iconic locale.”

The execution of the concept was well conceived, implemented and well stylized to meet the needs of daytime employees and residents of Manhattan’s financial district, continued Dyches, who also heads Trend Habitat, a California-based trend consultancy. “The embedded technology platforms were well placed in their respective departments and did as promised—enhanced the customer experience via great information and respect for time management,” he noted.

Designed by CBX

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