Private Brand is Front Page News At Duane Reade

Duanereader2The ubiquitous New York drug retailer Duane Reade has been featured here on a number of occasions over the last few months and I admit to a certain fondness for this David fighting off the Goliaths of drug retail that are quickly invading New York. However it is more on principle than reality, I have visited many of their stores over the last few years and the redesigned stores are a great improvement from many of the classic shoebox city stores that they are known for. So I am excited to see the progress they have made with both their retail experience and their brand. They are uniquely New York and seem to have taken that to heart in their new branding efforts. This reinforces Duane Reade’s brand mantra of New York Living Made Easy.

Duane Reade has long been the place where New Yorkers could find everything from prescriptions to potato chips. So it’s only fitting that the city’s largest drugstore chain, now undergoing a substantial transformation, is introducing hundreds of new Private Brand products and featuring them in the new magalog, The Duane Reader. This is a tried and true Private Brand promotional tactic that retailers including Trader Joe’s and Loblaws have implemented with great success.

Hundreds of new products will appear in the inaugural 20-page Holiday Edition, which will be inserted this week in The New York Times and The Daily News, as well as handed out on commuter trains and in office buildings throughout the city. As well as in the more than 250 Duane Reade stores in the metropolitan area.

According to a Duane Reade press release: Joe Jackman, acting chief marketing officer, commented, “The Duane Reader represents our most recent effort to strengthen our brand image in order to match the positive changes that we are making to our customer experience. It’s our hope that busy New Yorkers will find it to be a relevant, useful, and entertaining companion for city-living during the holidays.”

LookdreadeThe Duane Reader spotlights hundreds of products at hot introductory prices. It also profiles exciting new – and New York-centric. Many of the products highlighted make their debut under one of the exclusive Duane Reade Private Brands:

  • the expanding DR Delish Private Brand of delectable food and beverage items
  • Apt 5, Duane Reade’s quintessential New York Private Brand, which now includes a new environmentally friendly line-up called Apt 5 Goes Green
  • the beautiful new beauty Private Brand Look NY, and
  • the long-standing and recently relaunched Christmas In New York Private Brand.

“Virtually all the products in The Duane Reader have a connection to city living, with many created especially for the joyous holiday season,” said Joe Magnacca, chief merchandising officer at Duane Reade. “We are thrilled to use this unique publication to highlight the great values and wonderful array of new and exciting products that our team has been busy creating. Whether stocking-stuffer gifts, easy entertaining, or quality food choices on-the-run, we had fun tying in these items to the everyday events and happenings that we experience as we get ready for the holidays in New York.”

The premier issue of the Duane Reader, which debuts this week, focuses on the holiday season, with a number of new and relevant items for entertaining (DR Delish French sparkling sodas), decorating (Christmas in New York cards, wreaths and apartment-sized trees), stocking-stuffing (Apt. 5 corkscrews and LookNY make-up brushes), and just plain New York “survival” items (sheer hosiery, vitamins, stain removal sticks and ‘green’ cleaning supplies).

Accompanying the perfect-for-holiday items is a pull-out Holiday Planner providing a New Yorker’s view of things to see and do this month and next, and other sections with fun tidbits such as which restaurants are serving Christmas dinner, and the hours of the Central Park Ice Rink.

In addition to the exciting product news, The Duane Reader publication is packed with bargains, useful tips and hints, historical notes about New York City, and holiday ideas. It is a must-read for city dwellers and visitors.

Duane Reader1



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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.