Walgreens continues to raise beauty bar

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there are plenty of folks beholding Walgreens and its New York palette, Duane Reade. So it should come as no surprise that Walgreens is positioning its heavy hitters against the beauty category, given the number of recent changes Walgreens has made across its beauty facing.

(THE NEWS: Walgreens makes changes to beauty, personal care merchant teams. For the full story, click here.)

What it should tell you, though, is that Walgreens is going to continue to raise the beauty bar in U.S. drug store retailing. If you’ve ever visited a Duane Reade in the capital of beauty — New York City still serves as the fashion runway in this country — then you know how eye-catching that DR beauty set has become.

That upscale staffed beauty department services all aspects of beauty, including brows with a Ramy-branded brow bar that offers in-store eyebrow-shaping services. The Look Boutique also offers shoppers an inviting fragrance area featuring a handful of the most popular fragrances tethered to an upscale-looking counter.

And Walgreens is beginning to expand that Look Boutique experience nationwide, attracting shoppers in search of premium beauty solutions in the process. Leveraged against that merchandising position are Walgreens’ 26,000-plus beauty advisers and the expertise that will soon come from its online beauty engine, Beauty.com, with its recent acquisition of Drugstore.com.