Magnacca's know-how will bring WAG to the next level

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — Joe Magnacca brings to bear a menagerie of merchandising savvy that will help Walgreens on its way to well. That savvy includes some "old world" retailing perspective by way of Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart, where a focus on beauty and convenience is paramount. And his recent meteoric rise through the ranks of Duane Reade is testament to just how well he connected with the denizens of the most-populated city in the United States through enhanced merchandising and marketing.

(THE NEWS: Magnacca's role at WAG expands. For the full story, click here)

As Walgreens looks to apply the best of Duane Reade to its other 7,000-plus stores, clearly the chief architect of that DR makeover will play a key role. Magnacca just sees things differently, and no doubt his unique vision will identify entirely new ways for Walgreens to look at and market to its customers.

"As a Canadian, we look at the drug store industry a little bit differently because we have more of a European slant on the overall business," Magnacca told Drug Store News during a Duane Reade store tour in late 2009. "If you look at the European model, they are certainly more advanced from a beauty point of view and from a convenience point of view. The European business model has really demonstrated how you can take drug to the next level."

When Magnacca joined Duane Reade in 2008, he brought that fresh perspective and merchandising expertise that resulted in such enhancements as expanded grocery and fresh foods; the DR Delish private brand; upscale beauty departments; the Duane Reader “magalogue” packed with exclusive products, bargains and tips; and the FlexRewards loyalty program that replaced the retailer’s Dollar Rewards.