Walgreens showcases new look in 640 stores

Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) is unveiling a new sophisticated look for 640 of its brick-and-mortars. The remodeled or new stores incorporate a contemporary design that adds a fresh approach to the interiors and exteriors and creates an airy and roomy atmosphere.

The new look is most apparent in the 14 flagship stores including the three prominent locations in New York's Empire State Building, Chicago's Wrigley Building and Hollywood's Sunset and Vine, reported the Lansing State Journal.

Opened in June, the Wrigley Building Walgreens includes a color-splashed mural of the Chicago skyline.

But the changes, tested at flagships, are filtering down to other locations, which include wider aisles, higher ceilings, improved lighting and color coded "neighborhoods" organized around cosmetics, health care and other product lines.

"People used to define convenience as…really close and really small," Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA, a Detroit-based retail brand and experience strategist, told the Lansing State Journal. "Now they define convenience as a store with everything I want, even if it's an edited version. I can get sushi, nail polish and People magazine all in the same place, and I can do it in a way that's trendy and very contemporary and efficient. They've really turned the whole idea (of a drugstore) upside down."

Tim Welsh, Walgreens' senior director for store design, planning and development, said the new formats have helped to improve year-to-year store sales.

"Our older stores were stacked high with merchandise up to the ceiling," he told the Journal. "As competition rose, once the recession hit and shopper behavior started to change, we had to make our stores more customer-focused."

Last week, Walgreens announced a partnership with WebMD to encourage U.S. shoppers to make healthier choices through incentives. The collaboration will include bringing WebMD's virtual wellness coaching programs to Walgreens customers, incorporating WebMD content into the digital experience and stores, and offering prescription refills online.

For more:
-See this Lansing State Journal article

Related stories:
Walgreens opens flagship in Chicago's Wrigley Building
Walgreens' quarterly sales soar 6.5 percent
Walgreens denies reports of early takeover bid for Boots
Walgreens launches iBeacon pilot
Walgreens launches 'Way to Well' tour