DEERFIELD, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vitamins in a vault? Hand-rolled sushi and an “Eyebrow Bar” beautician, all underneath the gaze of decorative griffins, alit through ornate, jazz-age stained glass?
That’s the striking retail formula revealed today when Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) (Nasdaq: WAG) opens the doors to its newest Chicago flagship store located within the historic Noel State Bank building at the northwest corner of North and Damen avenues in Chicago’s Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood. The one-of-a-kind retail location preserves the stunning and historic building’s original architectural integrity.
This is Walgreens second flagship store in Chicago and, like its downtown State and Randolph flagship location, features an extensive collection of innovative offerings, products and services unexpected from a drugstore.
“It was thrilling to restore this architectural gem once again into a thriving business anchor in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area,” said Joe Magnacca, Walgreens president of daily living products and solutions. “This flagship store will provide customers with a unique shopping experience within an iconic building. It’s the latest example of how we are stepping out of the traditional drugstore format and helping people get, stay and live well.”
The Noel State Bank building, constructed in 1919, was designed by Gardner C. Coughlen in a neo-classical style. The original bank fell victim to a bank run during the Great Depression and has housed several different banks over the decades, the last being Midwest Bank, which closed several years ago.
Throughout the last two years, Walgreens has worked closely with the city’s Commission on Chicago Landmarks on the building restoration. The exterior is clad entirely in ornamental terra cotta. Large windows are divided by rising pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals, and a prominent cornice wraps around the rounded corner of the building.
Extensive restoration took place on the building’s coffered plaster ceiling, which features abundant non-symmetrical hexagons that frame griffins and other ornate designs, all of which form into successive yet subtle Star of David patterns. At the center is a large stained glass window with a six-point star design. Walgreens also restored the interior columns topped with pilasters and the original bank vault, which will be repurposed as a “Vitamin Vault” in the store’s health and wellness section.
The store’s expanded and groundbreaking features include:
- Vitamin Vault: The original cast iron safe entrance, with visible locking gears, will lead customers into a unique vitamin and supplement section. Original bank lockboxes open and display various vitamin products.
- An enhanced, state-of-the-art pharmacy designed to encourage greater interaction between pharmacists and patients. An iPad-equipped health guide 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.
- An Upmarket Café offering a barista preparing fresh brewed premium coffee, including the exclusive State and Randolph brand. A bakery will serve a range of fresh baked breads and pastries daily.
- A juice bar featuring fresh fruits and vegetables and made-to-order smoothies. The chocolate malted milkshake, invented by a Walgreens soda fountain manager in 1922, also will be served. Or, customers can opt for self-serve frozen yogurt.
- A wide variety of fresh hand-rolled sushi and sashimi prepared daily.
- Hundreds of fresh food items including produce and high-quality, on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sandwiches and salads made fresh daily.
- A best-in-class wine selection boasting more than 700 fine wines will pair well with the store’s offerings of artisan and brie cheeses, assortments of specialty meats, decadent chocolates and more.
- A LOOK Boutique beauty department featuring dozens of prestige and niche cosmetic, skincare and hair care brands not typically found in drugstores. Specially-trained beauty advisors are on hand to offer guidance finding the best solutions for individual needs. Expert shaping and grooming services will be available at the Eyebrow Bar.
The store will be open 24 hours every day with pharmacy hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a. m. until 6 p.m. Sundays.
Additional photos available for download at: http://walgreensmedia.mediafire.com/?8b1dm2y91qupb
As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,030 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.