Walgreens Draws Urban Millennial Consumers for Convenient Trips with Chicago Flagship Store

Walgreens Draws Urban Millennial Consumers for Convenient Trips with Chicago Flagship Store

Wander into the flagship Wrigley Building Walgreens, and you may do a double take just to make sure you’re really in a drugstore. The cleverly designed store features freshly made sushi and soup, an expansive Beer Cave, a bar for creating custom juices, smoothies and milkshakes, along with appealing displays of popular cosmetic brands. Walgreens president and CEO states:

"This store brings together our most innovative, forward-thinking initiatives under one stunning roof…. Customers will be delighted by a drugstore unlike anything they've ever experienced."

Walgreens Draws Urban Millennial Consumers for Convenient Trips with Chicago Flagship StoreJudy Harrison, noted retailing industry expert and CEO of Way Point Partners, provides insight on the market strategy behind the store’s design and offerings:

“Walgreens is targeting the urban working consumer in this area, all ages, but particularly a Millennial. By offering a wide range of convenience products, it hopes to make the store experience part of the customer’s daily routine.  The goal is to drive traffic into the store on a consistent basis, not just for when you have a cold.”

As Millennials continue the trend of concentrating in urban areas, Walgreens offers them ‘convenient trip’ shopping they might be missing from the suburbs. Ken Nisch, head of retail design firm JGA, continues:

"This is where the money is…. I think their strategy is to take advantage of the benefits of convenience and efficiency and to say, 'I can go there and basically take care of a lot of things at one time.' This [the Millennial] is a customer who I think doesn't have a problem buying a Red Bull, a blush, birth control pills and a bottle of Champagne in the same basket."

Walgreens Draws Urban Millennial Consumers for Convenient Trips with Chicago Flagship Store

The Walgreens Market Strategy for Offering All-Day Convenience

With 20-30,000 pedestrians walking by each day, Walgreens has impressive visibility. To draw in customers throughout the day, Ms. Harrison identifies how the flagship store conveniently addresses three important need states for customers:

  1. Personal needs, such as pharmaceutical
  2. Work needs, such as cosmetics and lunch
  3. After-work needs, such as alcohol.

The two-story layout of the store carefully caters to these need states. Harrison details:

Walgreens Draws Urban Millennial Consumers for Convenient Trips with Chicago Flagship Store“The first floor food offerings feature the convenience factor of getting in and out quickly during your workday. The second floor appeals to lifestyle, health and wellness needs of the customer. The first thing you see is an inviting cosmetics space. The focus on Cargo, L’Oreal and Boots brands, with some exclusive selections, differentiates Walgreens. The location of the two destination areas of the store, the pharmacy and Take Care Clinic, draws customers through the retail environment, encouraging additional purchases.”

Walgreens is the largest drugstore chain in the US, with over 8,200 stores and $76 billion in sales last year. Just 10 of those stores feature Walgreens’ new urban flagship model, but with their increased offerings and footprint, Walgreens reports that daily sales in flagship stores are usually more than double those in other stores. The company’s flagship store model is worthwhile study for any brand targeting urban Millennials.

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    Michal Clements

    Michal is co-author of Tuning Into Mom and an experienced consultant. Michal develops winning growth strategies and detailed go to market plans for some of the world’s outstanding organizations including McDonald’s, Gatorade, Abbott, Barilla, Tylenol, Clorox, Key Bank, Eagle Ottawa, Quaker and the Baker Demonstration School.

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