• July 7, 2011

Duane Reade Installs a Virtual Assistant in Its Newest Store

New York drug store chain Duane Reade yesterday unveiled, at the grand opening of its newest megastore, a Virtual Assistant developed with Lawrence, a unit of the Tensator Group.

A next-generation digital signage solution, the Tensator Virtual Assistant provides Duane Reade and its customers with an exciting information, brand, and promotional messaging medium using the very latest in holographic imaging and audio-visual technology to create the illusion of a real person.

The completely customized Virtual Assistant greets New Yorkers to the newest Duane Reade store, immediately engaging them and providing guidance on everything store related, such as instructions on seeing the "Doctor on Premise," getting a virtual makeover, hours of operation, and checkout information, and even makes suggestions and recommendations on leading brand foods, drinks, cosmetics, hair care, and pharmaceutical choices available to customers.

"Our Virtual Greeter is an essential part of the wow factor we have built into our newest store and serves as ambassador of the new Duane Reade customer experience," said Paul Tiberio, senior vice president of merchandising and chief marketing officer at Duane Reade. "The virtual aspect captures shoppers' attention from the moment they enter the store, engaging their visual and auditory senses. And because the Virtual Assistant is so compelling, shoppers are receptive to the wealth of information she provides, enabling them to get the big picture of everything the store has to offer in a very personal and exciting way. We are delighted to work with Lawrence and proud to be the first drug store chain to welcome, inform, educate. and guide its shoppers with our Virtual Greeter."

"Duane Reade immediately recognized the incredible benefits the Tensator Virtual Assistant provides to their newest location," said Bill Vetter, general manager of Lawrence. "With the multitude of offerings in this premiere store and 24/7 operations, Tensator's Virtual Assistant provides the industry's most advanced solution to deliver a consistent store and brand message with customizable content in real time, helping Duane Reade communicate with their customers, empowering them to make the most of this incredible New York shopping experience."

Lawrence is also enhancing the customer journey and increasing revenues within the Duane Reade store by installing an In-Queue Merchandising system. This system transforms unused space in the queue into a valuable retail area, enabling Duane Reade to boost impulse sales among queuing customers by up to 400 percent.

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