WAG rapidly opens flagship stores

The beat goes on for Walgreens' store development activities, as the chain last month hosted grand opening events in Boston and San Francisco — about one week apart.

Walgreens VP of merchandising, store design and well experience Bryan Pugh walked DSN through the new Boston flagship on April 30 for a special pre-opening store tour. The expansive, 25,000-plus-sq.-ft. store — the site of Boston's historic Five Cents Savings Bank — includes more than 17,000 sq. ft. of selling space and houses more than 20,000 SKUs. The store is home to two unique features, including a new interactive kiosk from Coinstar that allows customers to sample select beauty items for $1.

Also unique to the new Boston store is a kiosk in the pharmacy that ties into the city's Boston Moves initiative — which aims to get Boston residents to lose 1 million pounds and move 10 million miles — with Walgreens' Steps with Balance Rewards program.

A week later, Walgreens executives were in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of another flagship store located in the Union Square area.

With the Boston and San Francisco flagship stores, the company now operates 46 Look Boutiques — with 29 currently in Duane Reade stores and 17 in Walgreens stores — with a total of 55 planned by the end of the year, Pugh told DSN.

In addition to extensive photos of the two newest stores, DSNTV recently interviewed Walgreens DVP of category strategy, innovation and space management Beth Stiller for a Virtual Store Tour segment focused on Walgreens' key strategy in such core categories as health and beauty, and how it plays out in its flagship stores.

For extensive views of the new Boston and San Francisco stores, go to DrugStoreNews.com/photos. To see the Store Tour video with Walgreens' Stiller, go to DrugStoreNews.com/video. DSN+ users: Simply scan any of the images at right.