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Latest Walgreens comes with sushi chef, barista and juice bar

November 30, 2012|By Shan Li
  • The upscale Walgreens store in Hollywood will have an extensive wine selection, sushi, a barista and juice bar -- much like a similar store in Chicago.
The upscale Walgreens store in Hollywood will have an extensive wine selection,… (Chicago Man via Flickr )

An upscale Walgreens is coming to Hollywood.

As the first West Coast flagship store for the drugstore chain, the newest location on will feature a juice bar, soda fountain, sushi chef, a barista brewing caffeinated drinks and a selection of more than 700 wines.

It's all part of an effort by the Deerfield, Ill., company to localize offerings at a time of increased competition from dollar stores and big-box retailers alike.

"Trying to have the right offer for the right location is definitely what we are moving towards," said Bryan Pugh, a vice president of merchandising. "The main thing is to make us more relevant, and if we are relevant to consumers, that makes us more successful."

For example, a Walgreens store in New York, he said, has a chopped salad bar to serve the many office workers in the neighborhood.

Here in Los Angeles, the new store on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street is the sixth location rolling out upscale offerings along with the chain's standard drugstore fare. Another eight to 10 are under construction in cities such as San Francisco and Miami.

"These stores contain expanded elements of what we have available," Pugh said. "They are typically in high-profile and high-traffic areas."

The new 24,000-square-foot store, officially opening Saturday, will welcome shoppers 24 hours a day. For midnight coffee/sushi/juice emergencies.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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