**I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and their client . These thoughts are my own. I just don’t want the feds tryna stick me for my paper. #DR1MM, #shop, #cbias**
I recently had the opportunity to celebrate a monumental occasion with a brand I’ve come to love: Duane Reade. I’ll be honest. I had no idea what a Duane Reade store was until I moved to NYC in May of 2010. I remember my first visit like it was 3.33 years ago. I had just started a new job and was checking out the surrounding neighborhood before tripping my way up the stairs to my new gig. When I walked into the store, I realized how clean it was compared to other drug, convenience, and all around “I need something fast” stores. I remember seeing the fresh made food section with caesar wraps and other goodness and wondering why that wasn’t in establishments with names I shall not mention. And the store was two levels. Not something I’d seen in Ithaca, Albany, or Boston. Little did I know how quickly it’d become my go-to and how frequently I’d pass them every time I needed something, especially when I found out they carried HeadBlade products. That sealed the deal for me.
It’s well over three years later and I visit the stores now more than ever. Whether I’ve been on the way to
avoiding the gym or on the way home from debauchery, I always have a reason to stop in and pick something up. I guess it’s become a lifestyle store for me.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I got to visit the Duane Reade Mecca at 40 Wall Street to celebrate the brand recently reaching one million followers on Twitter. Ok, so you may be thinking “What’s the big deal about a drugstore reaching one million followers on a social network? That’s something brands do everyday, b? Everyday!” Well, one, you can’t find the stores everywhere in the U.S. So that following has been grown primarily with stores in NYC and New Jersey. Second, Duane Reade is now the most followed retailer in the drug, food, and mass arena worldwide. Third, it went from 10,000 to 1,000,000 followers in 1 year. Let it sink in how many people have consciously chosen to follow and receive updates from the brand per day and per month. Imagine if that many people cared about you? Okay, people do care about you. You get my point. But even Twitter had to do a case study on Duane Reade and how it’s made the magic happen. So a party was very much in order.
The celebration was dope for a few reasons:
I got to see some of my favorite Duane Reade VIP Bloggers and the man that connected me to this event and many others I’ve covered.
I got to eat some of the same wraps I saw when I first discovered the store. Memory Lane and belly pacification.
I got to connect with the homie Jason F., who’s new to the DR scene (New to me at least).
I got to see social media engagement happen on the big screen as tweets poured in throughout the event.
And I got to see the man behind Duane Reade’s online marketing/PR, Calvin Peters, address the audience with much gratitude for what has been an amazing past 365 days.
I can’t say there are too many brands I love. And of the ones I do, there are no retail brands that I visit online or in-person as much as Duane Reade. I’m looking forward to what’s to come and sharing new adventures as a member of the DR VIP Blogger Team. I’za keep ya’ posted!