Walgreens flagship store, los angeles, retail localization

Walgreens opens Los Angeles flagship; store is chain’s 8,000th location

Walgreens on Saturday will officially open its 8,000th store nationwide and its first flagship on the West Coast. The store, located in Los Angeles at the iconic corner of Sunset and Vine, features an extensive collection of innovative offerings, products and services, many of which are not standard fare.

Walgreens flagship store, los angeles, retail localization

The expanded features will include a LOOK Boutique beauty department. Britain’s leading skincare brand, No7, created by Boots, will be available in a Walgreens store for the first time. (The availability of No7 products at this Walgreens follows the strategic partnership between Walgreens and Alliance Boots, the leading international pharmacy-led health and beauty group.)

The department also will have specially-trained beauty advisors, including a No7 beauty advisor, on hand to offer guidance finding the best solutions for individual needs. Expert shaping and grooming services will be available at the Eyebrow Bar.

Other features include:

  • An enhanced, state-of-the-art pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients. Team member “health guides” will help pharmacy customers navigate a wide range of health and wellness products, services and resources including immunizations and health tests. The pharmacy also features an “Ask Your Pharmacist” desk, consultation rooms and Express Rx kiosks for swift checkout.
  • A juice and smoothie bar featuring fresh fruits and vegetables included in the 24 distinct recipes available. Customers can also enjoy eight flavors of self-serve frozen yogurt accompanied by an enticing toppings bar.
  • Hundreds of fresh food items including produce and high-quality, on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sandwiches and salads made fresh daily.

[via Chain Store Age]

Starbucks 7$ cup of coffee, visual merchandising

Starbucks sells $7-a-cup coffee

Coffee aficionados have a difficult decision to make: Spend $7 on a full lunch or on a single cup of Starbucks coffee?

Starbucks 7$ cup of coffee, visual merchandising

The brew in question: The Seattle giant’s new Costa Rica Finca Palmilera, its most expensive offering ever and also one of its rarest. The coffee is part of the company’s Reserve line and costs $7 for a grande cup.

An 8-ounce package costs $40. The uber-premium beans and brew are available only in 46 Starbucks stores in Portland and Seattle, as well as a licensed store in Idaho and Starbucks’ Roy Street Coffee & Tea offshoot in Washington.

There are more than 11,000 Starbucks stores nationwide.

Online, Starbucks has already sold out of a similar offering– the Costa Rica Tarrazu Geisha, listed on the website as having “rose petal aromas with ripe banana and subtle red currant notes and silky mouth feel.” The 450 half-pound bags of beans available were snapped up within 24 hours of being offered Nov. 8.

Both kind of beans are known as Geisha heirloom varietals, named for the village in Ethiopia where they were first discovered before making their way to Central America in the 1950s.

Starbucks justifies the high price by explaining that Geisha plants don’t produce many cherries, making the beans extremely rare and also full of concentrated flavor. This is the company’s first go-round with Geisha beans.

Now Starbucks is working through 3,800 pounds of Finca Palmilera beans, which feature notes of white peach and pineapple, spokeswoman Alisa Martinez said.

“It leaves a tingly, kind of light feeling,” she said. “It’s a very exquisite coffee.”

But try telling that to the consumers pranked by comedian Jimmy Kimmel this week, who set up a fake taste test in Hollywood asking people to distinguish between standard coffee and what was supposedly the “Finca Palmilera” brew. Turns out, both cups contained the same basic Joe.

[via Chicago Tribune]


Consumer confidence, shopper marketing

Consumer confidence rises to four-year high in November

A report released Tuesday by the Conference Board showed that consumer confidence rose in November to the highest level in more than four years.

Consumer confidence, shopper marketing

The confidence index climbed to 73.7, the highest since February 2008, from a revised 73.1 reading the prior month, indicating that U.S. household spending will keep growing.

A median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a reading of 73.

“Confidence is holding up well,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, toldBloomberg. “Spending is going to continue to increase. This bodes well for the fourth quarter.”

The gain in confidence may have been restrained by a plunge in the Middle Atlantic region, the area covering New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania that was most affected by superstorm Sandy. That area’s index dropped 14.6 points to a three-month low of 54.2.

Among other measures, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed in November to a five- year high, while the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index last week hovered near the strongest point in seven months.

[via Chain Store Age]

Black Friday, Holiday 2012

Black Friday Weekend Sales Climb 12.8% Over 2011

Stores opening in the wee small hours of Black Friday morning (plus a few pushing back into Thanksgiving evening) may have stolen some of the thunder from Black Friday itself, but the weekend as a whole gave retailers plenty of reasons to smile. Total spending in stores and online is estimated at $59.1 billion, a healthy 12.8% increase over the $52.4 billion spent during the same period in 2011.

Black Friday, Holiday 2012

According to a survey by BIGinsight for the National Retail Federation, 247 million U.S. shoppers visited stores and websites over the holiday weekend, compared to 226 million in 2011. Shoppers spent on average $423, 6.3% more than the $398 they shelled out last year. On Thanksgiving Day, 35 million shoppers visited the stores that were open that day or shopped online, compared to 29 million who did so in 2011.

Foot traffic, as measured by ShopperTrak, also increased on Black Friday, rising 3.5% to reach 307.67 million store visits.

There’s also further evidence that the concept of “Cyber Monday” as a discrete day for online shopping is being inexorably dragged toward the Trash Bin icon. E-commerce sales were strong over the entire holiday weekend, and in fact have been showing double-digit increases over last year for the entire month of November.

According to comScore, online sales on Black Friday itself were $1.042 billion, 26% higher than the same day in 2011. Apparently not everyone was cooking turkey, eating and watching football on Thanksgiving: enough people were shopping to ring up $633 million in online sales, a 32% jump over last year. For the full November 1-23 period, $13.7 billion in online sales represents a 16% climb over the $11.8 billion sold during the same period in 2011.

In an exact repeat of 2011, the most-visited sites, according to comScore, were:
1) Amazon
2) Walmart
3) Best Buy
4) Target
5) Apple

The Chase Holiday Pulse reported a Black Friday online sales increase this year, but “only” 15.2% higher than sales for Black Friday 2011. Different tracking firms using different methodologies account for some of these disparities, but virtually all the reports show solid-to-spectacular results for 2012.

[via RIS News]

Apple Store, Covent Garden

Apple heads list of retailers with highest sales per square foot

Apple Inc. operates the most successful retail stores by a significant margin, according to RetailSails, a retail and consumer goods consulting firm. Apple stores averaged $6,050 per sq. ft. in the past 12 months, double those of Tiffany & Co., which ranked second, generating sales of $3,017 per sq. ft.

Apple Store, Covent Garden

Here is RetailSails list of the 10 retailers with the highest sales per square foot:

1. Apple ($6,050 per sq. ft.)
2. Tiffany & Co. ($3, 017 psf)
3. Lululemon Athletica ($1,936 psf)
4 Coach ($1,871 psf)
5. Michael Kors ($1,431/psf)
6. Select Comfort ($1,314/psf)
7. True Religion ($1,227/psf)
8. Vera Bradley Designs ($1,186/psf)
9. Birks & Mayors ($1,082/psf)
10. Fairway Market ($1,081/psf)

As to how RetailSails came up with its ranking, the company said it  attempted to include as many companies across the broad universe of the U.S. retail industry as possible, deriving information from sources including company press releases and presentations, conference calls and SEC filings. In cases where information was not explicitly provided by the company, RetailSails used estimates based on industry sources or competitors’ figures.

[via Chain Store Age]

Baccarat flagship, new york city, retail localization

Baccarat opening new flagship store in New York

Baccarat is set to unveil its newest flagship store in New York City in May 2013 ahead of the iconic brand’s upcoming 250th anniversary. Located at 635 Madison Avenue at 60th Street, the expansive 2,800-square-foot store, designed by acclaimed architect and designer Rafael de Cardenas, will be an experiential destination encompassing the Baccarat lifestyle. The store’s distinctive design concept will be a new global retail model for the brand, showcasing tableware, lighting, decorative objects and jewelry to reflect the richness of the Baccarat lifestyle and the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence, according to a press release.

Baccarat flagship, new york city, retail localization

“This new flagship store will be a landmark of the luxury, glamour and prestige that has set Baccarat apart,” said Michelle Klein, president & CEO of Baccarat North America. “It will be a space for discerning shoppers to fully appreciate the brand’s most coveted designs and to experience the unique Baccarat lifestyle, which celebrates its 250th anniversary in 2014.”

With a tradition of ingenuity and an ever-present eye toward modernity, Baccarat has enlisted architect and designer Rafael de Cardenas to create a contemporary concept that draws inspiration from the brilliance and artisanship of the brand’s design history. Serving as an inspiring destination, the design exudes a crisp elegance through its surprising blend of rich woods and dark stones. The entryway’s faceted surfaces reflect the brand’s iconic sparkling chandeliers. Adjacent spaces, wrapped in warm fabrics, create intimate environments for product interaction. Sampling from Baccarat’s history of fine craft, these unique material combinations create a contemporary language for the brand and confirm Baccarat as a luxury house dedicated to high design.

As the brand approaches its 250th anniversary in 2014, devotees of Baccarat will have the opportunity to experience the brand’s lifestyle on a grander scale with the opening of the highly anticipated Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York, a joint venture between Starwood Capital Group and Tribeca Associates. Located on one of Manhattan’s most prestigious blocks off Fifth Avenue, across from the Museum of Modern Art, Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York will combine sophisticated design with the level of service and exceptional quality that exemplifies the brand.

[via Retail Customer Experience]

Victoria's Secret, NYC Flagship store, visual merchandising

Victoria’s Secret takes the wraps off redesigned NYC flagship

Victoria’s Secret has reopened its New York flagship with a re-design that embodies the brand’s sexy, sophisticated and glamorous spirit with a nod to its heritage. Click here to see photos.

Victoria's Secret, NYC Flagship store, visual merchandising

The three-floor, 8,000-sq.-ft. store, located in Herald Square, features warm, black cherry hardwood floors, sculpted pink surfaces with rich accents of black chrome, Italian marble floors and custom ribbon chandeliers adorned with backlit Swarovski crystals, which highlights the 14-ft. high focal wall showing iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels images. Every floor features video screens playing the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, recent TV spots, and Supermodel footage.

It also includes the brand’s first-ever perfumery, with European-inspired kiosks that include the company’s full line of fragrances. The lower level of the store showcases Victoria’s Secret PINK collection.

[via Chain Store Age]

Minnie Mouse does the catwalk at Barneys NY

A few of Disney’s darlings are taking to the virtual runway in New York City, as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Snow White and Tiana are appearing in the holiday display lighting up the windows of the Barneys New York flagship store on Madison Avenue.

According to an announcement from global visual technologies company Christie, the world of high fashion is coming to life in a holiday extravaganza on multiple configurations of 425 Christie MicroTiles filling the windows at Barneys. In a partnership between The Walt Disney Company, Barneys New York and Christie, the “Electric Holiday” display is a Barneys windowsmultimedia presentation highlighted by a digitally-animated, moving-art short featuring Disney characters as they do their little turn on the catwalk in original designer clothes.

Following the world premiere on Nov. 14, the eight-minute art short will continue to loop throughout the day on the window display, which will be up until Jan. 3, 2013.

“We are thrilled to be working with the experts at Christie on Disney Electric Holiday Windows at Barneys New York,” said Lylle Breier, SVP of world wide special events, Walt Disney Studios. “Disney and Barneys wanted to create a visually stunning window display unlike any other … Utilizing 565 square feet of MicroTiles and 50 million pixels we are able to create a brilliant light and video show that will light up Madison Ave. throughout the holidays.”

[via Retail Customer Experience]

CVS Pharmacy, Retail Localization

CVS positions itself as a modern-day general store

It’s almost midnight at a CVS not far from Capitol Hill, and as I’m stumbling through the aisles looking for baby Tylenol, I spot a congressional aide stocking up on rubber gloves, a cop buying Twizzlers and Red Bull, and a high-heeled prostitute pawing through the L’eggs pantyhose.

CVS Pharmacy, Retail Localization

You can say America is a place of red states and blue states. We may never, ever come together on the issue of Edward vs. Jacob in the seemingly endless “Twilight” saga.

But even in a nation divided between the 1 percent and the 47 percent, it may be safe to say that 100 percent of us eventually land at the CVS.

Quietly, voraciously, the retail monster once known as Consumer Value Stores has been taking over America. With thousands of stores nationwide and an inventory that ranges from Chia pets to syringes to hummus, the former pharmacy has revived the notion of a general store for the 21st century.

And they’ve done it with dizzying financial results. Earlier this month, the Rhode Island-based CVS Caremark reported $1 billion in earnings in just the past three months. That’s $1 billion in nail clippers, Hostess cupcakes and punchy, 4 p.m. shopping sprees on cobalt eyeliner! The takeover is nearly complete in the nation’s capital, where a new CVS store in northwest Washington tiptoed over to city regulators and applied for a license to sate the Woodley Park neighborhood’s thirst for beer and wine.

Black Friday, VIP Service, Shopper Marketing

Malls to offer VIP perks to lure more Black Friday shoppers

Black Friday shoppers at certain malls will get the VIP treatment as more retail establishments seek to offer a “white glove” experience to those willing to pay for a reprieve from the shopping day’s typical madness.

Black Friday, VIP Service, Shopper Marketing

According to marketwatch.com, malls are feeling the pressure to increase their services as fewer holiday shoppers are braving brick-and-mortar stores. Also, many stores are offering the same types of Black Friday deals online that they’re offering in stores, giving shoppers less incentive to drive to the mall, the article reported.

VIP shopping will vary from mall to mall, but could include such perks as survival kits of water and energy bars, child care centers, reserved parking spaces, valet parking, lounge areas with refreshments, coat checks, package holding areas and security escorts to vehicles.