Last week’s announcement that Walgreen Co. has agreed to acquire New York-based drugstore Duane Reade, marked a major change in strategy for the traditionally conservative chain. Now as the merger takes shape, analysts are speculating that the innovations being driven by Duane Reade around CRM and in-store merchandising could further reshape the combined company.
“In terms of the innovation that Duane Reade has been putting into place, I have to think that part of the rationale (of the acquisition) is not just the expanded distribution and additional store count, but getting some of the skill sets rather than developing their own loyalty or CRM program,” said Craig Johnson, President of Customer Growth Partners, LLC, a retail consultancy based in New Canaan, CT.
Walgreen said Duane Reade stores will continue to operate under their own brand name after the transaction closes, but eventually the two brands will synergize, as Walgreen is currently operating 70 stores in the New York City metropolitan area. Duane Reade has made some significant strides to modernize and remodel the stores to promote a more customer friendly and focused strategy.