Walgreen Co.'s new "health and daily living store" concept has made its debut in Washington, D.C., and the drug chain plans more of the new-format stores in that market.

Walgreens, Washington, D.C., health and daily living store, new format, pharmacy, Health Guide, Look Boutique, Health Corner, health and wellness, Vincent Gray, Darron Briscoe, pharmacist, fresh food, Chicago, Indianapolis

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Walgreens brings new format to D.C.

December 27th, 2011

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co.'s new "health and daily living store" concept has made its debut in Washington, D.C., and the drug chain plans more of the new-format stores in that market.

Walgreens on Friday held a grand opening ceremony for the new store, located at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Veazey Terrace.

The health care-focused format includes a private health care practice staffed by nurse practitioners, who will offer preventive care as well as treatment of common illnesses, injuries and skin conditions, according to the chain.

Innovations in the pharmacy area include positioning the pharmacist on the sales floor in front of the pharmacy to provide more opportunity for patient consultation; a "health guide" equipped with an iPad to answer customers' product and services questions, help them navigate the store and assist them with health care options; and a "Health Corner" space to host health and wellness community events.

There are also a number of new features in the front end of the store. It carries an assortment of fresh food — including fruits and vegetables, meat, salads, sandwiches, wraps, take-and-bake pizzas and other to-go foods, as well as meal options — and houses a Look Boutique high-end beauty department, which contains a more extensive line of cosmetic and personal care items along with services such as makeup application and eyebrow shaping.

"This new store offers District of Columbia residents a health and daily living destination that will help them live well, stay well and get well," Darron Briscoe, market vice president for Walgreens, said in a statement. "At the core of this new format is our effort to bring the pharmacist from behind the counter to a front desk, so they can provide more counseling to patients and offer clinical services such as immunizations and health screenings. Having them out front also greatly increases patients' ability to approach the pharmacist with questions."

The new D.C. store reflects "health and daily living" innovations tested by Walgreens in other market pilots over the past year. For example, the chain has opened 20 stores in metropolitan Chicago with the new format and has converted all of its stores in the Indianapolis area to the concept. The format premiered in November 2010 with the reopening of a store in Wheeling, Ill., and a new store opening in Oak Park, Ill.

"The initial response we've received from our customers in Chicago and Indianapolis has been extremely positive, and we're excited to now bring this experience to residents and visitors of Washington, D.C.," Briscoe stated.

Walgreens said the new store marks its third location in the District of Columbia, and the retailer plans to open a fourth at 7th and H streets next year. The chain added that it aims to operate eight stores in D.C. by 2017.

The new D.C. store also brings 35 new jobs to the area and kicks off Walgreens' participation in One City, One Hire program, an initiative by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray in which local businesses aim to create 10,000 new jobs in the District of Columbia.

"I'm delighted that Walgreens has chosen the district for this innovative pilot store and that they've committed to joining our One City, One Hire program," Gray stated. "I'm proud to celebrate the opening of another resource for job creation and economic development and look forward to our partnership with Walgreens."