Friday, May 25, 2012

Destination For The Ill

In January 2012, Walgreen's opened debuted a massive flagship store in Chicago, with everything from sushi bar, spa and expanded wine selection that includes $2,000 bottles of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac in Baccarat crystal.  According to company executive Joe Magnacca, Walgreen's is attempting to "transform itself from a traditional drugstore to a retail health and daily living destination."  Wow, what a quote. 

But really, Walgreen's a "destination?"  I always thought of drugstores as the opposite of destinations.  They were a place on the way - somewhere between point A and point B that was convenient to stop for a couple of items and be on their way quickly.  Isn't that why they're on nearly every street corner?  

Walgreen's over-the-top Chicago flagship location couldn't possibly scale nation-wide and I even have trouble envisioning one for every major city.  I would caution against the pharmacy superstore concept because they become far less convenient for customers, which is a major brand pillar of Walgreen's.     

If Walgreen's wants to be a destination spot, make it a destination for the sick.  Focus on the pharmacy and medical stuff and ignore the ancillary stuff.    

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