STREETERVILLE — Downtown residents and visitors have a new, one-stop shop where they can grab sushi, sandals and champagne in a single trip.
The flagship Walgreens in the southwest corner of the Wrigley Building will open its doors for the first time at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Inside is a two-story, 27,800-square-foot mega-store with bigger-than-average beauty and health departments, a three-counter pharmacy and healthcare clinic and a walk-in fridge nicknamed the "beer cave."
Joe Jackman and his company Jackman Reinvention were tapped by the pharmacy chain to help rebrand it, which included designing the store and the 27,350-square-foot Walgreens at State and Randolph Streets.
In designing the store, "we took a lot of cues from what was already there — the clock, for example, and the look and feel of the building as a whole," Jackman said.
The clock is recreated with a tile inlay on the floor and one wall in the store's entryway. On the second floor, the walls above the shelves are decorated with CTA station signs, and murals behind the checkout counters recreate the skyline.
"We really tried to make this as interesting and as Chicago-centric as we could, and really celebrate what is wonderful about Chicago," Jackman said.
Features like a fresh produce department, lunch and sushi counter with "grab-and-go" options and a frozen yogurt dispenser will appeal to local residents and Downtown workers, Jackman said, while "souvenir stations" on each floor are stocked with Chicago-branded merchandise, an offering for tourists.
"Flagship locations tend to be high-traffic, and very very high-profile generally, so they appeal to and attract a very wide range of customers," Jackman said. "We work collaboratively to make sure that the offering there and the experience there is completely relevant to the local community — but in this case, the local community includes visitors from all over the world, many of whom want to take a piece of Chicago home with them."
Jackman said frequent visitors to the new Walgreens will notice subtle changes "at the product and service level" in the coming months as the team works out kinks and adjusts the product selection to better match demand.
Unique features at the flagship location include a cycling station with gear for two-wheel commuters, shelf lighting and a "mascara bar" in the second floor beauty department.
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