Walgreens Flagship Store in San Francisco, Partnered Press Event…
When I told my husband that I was invited to the grand opening of a Walgreens store, with a puzzled look he simply said, “Why?” After all, the image we had of the store was not one that would illicit a lot of press buzz. This was different though. San Francisco is the the 10th major city to get a Walgreens Flagship Store and is located in the heart of the city at Powell & O’Farrell. This location was an existing store that was totally gutted and expanded.
These ‘flagship’ stores are so much more than just a drug store. Rather, they provide a whole other experience which might surprise you. They are a one-stop shop to help you be healthy and happy featuring a unique pharmacy, fresh foods, a juice/smoothie bar, a baked goods section, souvenirs, and even a froyo (frozen yogurt) area! Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
The first thing I noticed was how huge it was! With high ceilings and a modern yet classic design, it was evident that we were in for a treat. Oh, and that was just the first floor. The speedy escalators lead to light-filled, open expanse. The sky light and wall-to-wall windows bring in a welcoming glow, so much nicer than the mind-numbing florescent bulbs buzzing overhead.
The LOOK Boutique is a place that will likely steal much of your time. Multiple aisles are filled with prestige cosmetics, skincare, and hair care brands. I love the fact that all the employees in the LOOK boutique have been trained to be helpful and knowledgeable without ‘hovering’. That can be a major deterrent to shopping.
There are plenty of ‘tester’ items including nail polish, lipstick colors, fragrances, and even makeup brushes (an area they affectionately call the ‘petting zoo’). My daughter was with me a short while until my husband could pick her up after work and it was tough to pull her way from testing all the different perfumes! You can also get a skin consultation or get your brows cleaned up. I did the consultation (it is NOT pretty seeing your skin at 50x magnification) but not the brows as I don’t have that many left 😛
One particular brand that has partnered with Walgreens is No7, a skincare line created by Boots of UK fame. Even my husband has heard of them as a respected British company. Beauty advisors will be there every single day to answer any questions you might have about skincare and help you find the product best suited for you. I was quite impressed about the Beautiful Skin line. They have a full regimen for every skin type. They might even help you with some makeup tips and tips. I generally stay away from red lipstick but the No.7 beauty advisor helped to see that that it’s all in the application.
The pharmacy is the heart of Walgreens, as that was how the national chain started back in 1901, and the company is now getting back to that focus. You’ll notice that all prescriptions being filled are carefully hidden to draw attentions to the service instead of the products. The most interesting addition? A private clinic. The residing pharmacist will be available to give immunizations, make sure you are taking your medication in the right way, and help to identify potential risks such as diabetes. They can also immediately direct you to items you might need for allergies, a sore throat, or pain reliever. To accommodate any family, a cushy waiting area awaits with a large screen alerting them to when their prescription is ready to be picked up.
Also on this floor are other items you’d expect to see in a regular Walgreens and many you wouldn’t. Instead of just a section for travel items, there’s a monstrous display of trial-size products as well. It was pretty shocking to find multimedia accessories and even suitcases too!
Showing support of the community around it, local urban flavor can be seen in the design and architecture throughout the store. This is especially apparent, though, on the ground floor with tributes to the Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli, cable cars, and more. This is also the area to get some yummies which are made fresh daily. I was most interested in the sushi, wraps, and salads that all looked delicious. Feeling a bit parched? You can order something from the in-store barista, pick from among several wines, or make your own soda mixture with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine. By the way, the frozen yogurt is measured by cup size and not weight. That means you can load up on the toppings without paying extra! 🙂
The event I attended was actually a preview for VIP guests and was not open to the public until the following day. That meant my husband had to stand outside until I brought my daughter out to switch with him. That’s also why you’ll see tables and such set up in some of the photos above. I’m so glad we got a tour before the big event. After everyone arrived, it was crazy busy and hard to get through the aisles. Fortunately, appetizers, treats, and desserts came to the rescue until it was time for speeches by Walgreens bigwigs.
You can see more photos of the event in my #SFWAG Google+ album.
I was truly impressed by this new flagship store. I never thought I’d say this but I’m looking forward to heading up to the city again and bringing my family to this Walgreens. If anything, it’s a great place to recharge after a full day of touring or shopping in San Francisco. When will you be paying the new Walgreens Flagship store a visit?
I was invited to the opening of the Walgreens store opening by Collective Bias®. I was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias ™ and Walgreens #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own.