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If you don’t live in New York City, you may not know Duane Reade, but the 256-store drugstore chain is a powerful force in the metropolitan area whose revamped image, store remodeling, and new private-label brand should have a widespread impact.

Private-label products are not new to Duane Reade, but previously, it sold these products under various names, which offered little in the way of brand equity for the chain. The new products instead will fall under the same banner, DR Delish, and offer quality similar to that of national brand equivalents. Currently, DR Delish offers 25 products, including high-quality, high-chip count chocolate chip cookies for $1.99.   It anticipates stocking 100 or more DR Delish items by Christmas.

In surveying consumers to determine what they wanted in stores, Duane Reade discovered common themes focused on healthier and tastier products. New Yorkers demand that their neighborhood drugstore fulfill many different needs, so the new DR Delish products offer wide variety, including fresh sandwiches, salads, and fruits, along with product categories featuring gluten-free, no trans-fat, reduced calories, and natural ingredients.

The chain’s new ad campaign relies on the slogan, “Your City. Your Drugstore,” to emphasize the retailer’s commitment to New Yorkers. But if its efforts work, it may provide a model for drugstores throughout the country as well.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why is Duane Reade developing private-label products?
  2. What other products might Duane Reade offer under its private label?

Elaine Wong, “Why Duane Reade Renovated Its Image,” Brandweek.com, October 1, 2009.