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Rx chain gives NYers something to ‘Reade’

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK The Duane Reader.—Attention: “Free Gyms of New York Because You in Spandex is Everyone’s Business.” Caught your attention? Well, that’s exactly what Duane Reade is hoping to do with its new marketing vehicle dubbed

The inaugural 20-page holiday edition of the “magalog” debuted in early November and is the retailer’s latest effort to strengthen its brand image and further its relevance with New Yorkers.

The week it launched, The Duane Reader was distributed in The New York Times and The Daily News, and was handed out on commuter trains and in office buildings throughout the city. It also can be picked up in more than 250 Duane Reade stores in the New York metro area. To promote the launch, store associates were dressed in shirts that read, “Reade all about it.”

The Duane Reader is packed with hundreds of new and exclusive products, bargains, historical notes about New York City, holiday ideas, and tips and hints. For example, in a blurb headlined “Free Gyms of New York Because You in Spandex is Everyone’s Business,” Duane Reade reminds shoppers to fuel up when working out and suggests its exclusive DR Delish Blueberry Pomegranate Trail Mix Crunch. To coincide with this trail mix promotion, the retailer also offers a few free workout tips like running the giant staircase at 81st and East River Drive, push-ups in Prospect Park or stretching on the lions at the New York Public Library.

There’s also a pullout “Holiday Planner” that provides a New Yorker’s view of things to see through Dec. 29, as well as other sections with which restaurants are serving Christmas dinner and the hours of the Central Park Ice Rink.

By including products and other tidbits that connect with city living, Duane Reade is not only banking on a lift in front-end sales, but it also is a strong reflection of the transformation currently under way at the pharmacy retailer.

Since John Lederer, former president of Canada’s Loblaw, joined the company in early April 2008, he and his new management team have been embarking on a turnaround strategy aimed at improving pharmacy, fixing the customer experience and developing a relative, urban drug store box.

The transformation also involves rebranding its stores with new signage, a new logo and a new brand mantra: “Duane Reade equals New York living made easy.” The mantra’s goal: to articulate its desire to become the destination of choice for beauty, wellness and convenience needs. These core offerings are being supported by a new concept segmentation that is subbranded, “How I look, how I feel and what I need now.”

Today, about 30 of the chain’s 250-plus stores have been outfitted with the new look and feel. As previously reported by Drug Store News, its newly opened Herald Square store, at 1350 Broadway, truly brings to fruition new innovation in terms of categories and clearly demonstrates where the brand is headed. With this store’s upscale beauty department, dubbed “Look Boutique”—plus fresh sandwiches and salads, expanded frozen foods and a revamped pharmacy department—it is clear that Duane Reade is in the midst of great change.

Furthermore, the company will be launching during the first quarter a new and improved loyalty program. This program will offer New Yorkers enhanced value, and category managers real-time data on what consumers are purchasing.

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Hy-Vee names new president

BY Alaric DeArment

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa A 28-year employee of Hy-Vee has become its new president, according to published reports.

The company appointed Randall Edeker as president of the supermarket chain Thursday at the company’s annual meeting, succeeding Ric Jurgens, who had served as president since 2001 and will maintain his position as chairman and CEO.

Edeker had previously served as EVP and COO.

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Tricare expands vaccination coverage to pharmacies, clinics

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Convenience and value. That’s what community pharmacy and their retail clinic partners deliver to their patients. And that’s what the Department of Defense is counting on in covering immunizations at local pharmacies and identifying convenient care clinics as network providers — two separate pieces of news issued within the past month that really underscore the importance of pharmacies and retail clinics in the delivery of health care today.

Prior to these announcements, military personnel interested in getting their flu shots had to schedule an appointment with their doctor, as Tricare only covered the cost of shots delivered in a doctor’s office.

“As a convenient and accessible healthcare provider, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to offer services for patients, such as vaccinations,” stated Steve Anderson, president and CEO for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores. Anderson noted that as of earlier this year, pharmacists have the ability to immunize patients in all 50 states. “[This] presents an important opportunity for pharmacists to counsel patients during their visit, and an additional healthcare provider from which to obtain these vaccinations.”

It’s also quite a bit of opportunity for pharmacy — Tricare provides healthcare coverage for 9.5 million eligible beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries pick up almost 2.3 million prescriptions every week, and 1.2 million of those at retail pharmacies, according to Tricare .

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