Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent C. Gray joined Walgreens executives earlier this month when the national drugstore chain unveiled its new health and daily living store to residents of the city.
The store, located at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Veazey Terrace, reinvents the traditional drugstore format into a health- and daily living-solutions store by pairing state-of-the-art technology with a team of healthcare professionals to make healthcare more accessible and effective. The store includes a private healthcare practice staffed by nurse practitioners who offer preventive care as well as treatment of common illnesses, injuries and skin conditions.
The store also brings 35 new jobs to the area and kicks off Walgreens’ participation in Mayor Gray’s One City, One Hire program, an initiative by which local businesses strive 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 said. “I’m proud to celebrate the opening of another resource for job creation and economic development and look forward to our partnership with Walgreens.”
Some of the unique features at the new Walgreens include:
• The pharmacist located on the sales floor in front of the pharmacy, offering a greater opportunity for patient consultation;
• A new Walgreens staff member called a health guide who is equipped with an iPad and answers product and services questions, and helps customers navigate the store and their healthcare options as well as sign up for events;
• A “Health Corner” space to host individual or group health and wellness community events;
• Fresh food, including fruits and vegetables, meats, prepared salads, sandwiches, wraps, take-and-bake pizzas and other on-the-go meal options, as well as convenient alternatives for “tonight’s meal”; and,
• “Look Boutique,” a high-end beauty format with a more extensive line of cosmetic and personal care products as well as 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,” said Darron Briscoe, Walgreens market VP. “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.”
As part of a pilot program over the past year, Walgreens has opened 20 stores in the Chicago area with the new health and daily living format and has converted all of its stores in the Indianapolis market to the format.
“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 said.
The store is Walgreens third in the District of Columbia, and the company plans to open a fourth at 7th and H streets next year. Walgreens plans to operate eight locations in the District by 2017.
Walgreens is the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion. The company operates 7,812 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.