Walgreen Co. plans to open its latest flagship store tomorrow on School and Washington streets in Boston.

Walgreens, flagship store, Boston, Downtown Crossing, Mark Wagner, Bryan Pugh, Boston Marathon bombing, drug chain drug store, Look Boutique, Upmarket Cafe, No7

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Walgreens readies opening of Boston flagship store

April 30th, 2013

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Walgreen Co. plans to open its latest flagship store tomorrow on School and Washington streets in Boston.

The drug chain said Tuesday that the multilevel flagship store, set to open at 10 a.m. on May 1, will house a broad collection of products and services not typically found in a traditional drug store.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will kick off the grand opening. In recognition of the first responders to the Boston Marathon bombing earlier this month, Walgreens will be presenting donations totaling more than $100,000 to the Boston Police Relief Association, Boston Fire Department Children's Fund, Boston EMS Relief Association and One Fund Boston.

Walgreens executives slated to attend the event include Bryan Pugh, vice president of merchandising, store design and well experience; John Foley, corporate operations vice president; and Dave White, market vice president of operations and community management. Peter Meade, chief economic development officer for the city of Boston, also will be on hand.

"Walgreens is thrilled to provide a flagship location — unlike any traditional drug store — in the thriving and resilient Downtown Crossing neighborhood," Mark Wagner, president of operations and community management at Walgreens, said in a statement. "We are transforming into a retail health and daily living destination that offers our customers unique and exceptional experiences to help them get, stay and live well."

Including the new Boston location, Walgreens has nine flagship stores in large urban markets: two in Manhattan; two in Chicago; one in Los Angeles; one in Las Vegas; one in Washington, D.C.; and one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A 10th is due to open in San Francisco later this month.

Like the retailer's previous flagship outlets, the Boston store features enhanced pharmacy and front-end presentations.

The Downtown Crossing store's pharmacy layout is designed to foster greater interaction between pharmacists and patients by positioning the pharmacist out in front of the counter to provide counseling, offer clinical services and answer questions. The pharmacy also has an "Ask Your Pharmacist" desk, consultation rooms and an Express Rx kiosk for speedier checkout.

Meanwhile, the Look Boutique beauty department showcases dozens of prestige and niche cosmetic, skin care and hair care brands not normally found in drug stores, including the Boots No7 skin care brand from the United Kingdom. Also in the Look Boutique are specially trained beauty advisers, a Nail Bar offering professional manicures with the latest colors from essie and OPI, and brow shaping and grooming services at the Ramy Eyebrow Bar. Customers, too, can try new cosmetic shades and styles at the Virtual Makeover kiosk.

In the front of the store, the Boston flagship will serve up hundreds of fresh food items such as produce and on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sandwiches and salads. There's also fresh, hand-rolled sushi and sashimi prepared daily, as well as a juice and smoothie bar and self-serve frozen yogurt station with a range of toppings.

Beverage offerings include a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine that dispenses 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks and the Upmarket Cafe, which features a barista preparing fresh-brewed premium coffee and espresso. The store also has outdoor cafe that acts as an extension of the interior space and will feature patio seating, Walgreens said. The Boston flagship also will provide a robust selection of beer, wine and liquor plus products for special occasions. A Beverage Wizard kiosk will offer food and beverage pairing recommendations.

Another special feature will be the Boston Moves Kiosk. By accessing the Boston Moves portal, customers can join the city's health initiative to lose 1 million pounds and move 10 million miles. The kiosk also lets users enroll in Balance Rewards, Walgreens' customer loyalty program, and engage in Steps with Balance Rewards, a program designed to reward healthy behaviors and activity.