Duane Reade: Promo done right

Duane Reade, a popular and fast-growing New York area drugstore, stepped up its marketing game in November with a holiday promotion. The centerpiece of the effort is its new private-label food merchandise, DR Delish.

I'm so impressed with its 360-degree retail messaging. It's unmistakable, and usually I am turned off by over the top promo efforts. You can't walk into the store without being bombarded with promotional messages, starting with its colorful premier issue of The Duane Reader,  a compelling and colorful 20-page print newsletter that touts sales on many new products such as DR Delish Grande Chunk cookies and DR Delish Soy Crisps. The pages are strewn with enticing "catalog copy" that highlights these products. It also includes a fold-out holiday planner to guide people toward fun things to do every day in the month of December. A lot of thought and work went into it, but it doesn't stop there. Shelf space signage also touts the private label merchandise, and all employees wear bright red t-shirts with yellow lettering, also with a promotional message to check out The Duane Reader. The marketing is consistent throughout the store and smacks of careful planning.

Fact is, Duane Reade already had me; I've been a loyal customer for a few years. Every $100 I spend with them earns me a $5 coupon to spend in the store. Which I always do. I buy my drugstore merchandise there regularly: shampoo, toothpaste, soap.... but I also buy coffee, tuna fish, soda, chips and cleaning products there. I have passed up Rite Aid and CVS many times and walked the extra block to Duane Reade to get closer to 100 points.

However, now I'm also enjoying the new products and the great price points. I'm hooked on the coffee: Firefighter's Joe. Cheers, DR.

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