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Our man about town Jared Hatch hits up the neighborhood Walgreens and finds ch-ch-ch-changes in the pistachio aisle.
Last night, not unlike any other night, we got the midnight munchies and wandered over to our neighborhood Walgrizzle on the corner of Michigan at Chicago Ave. Entering the store and stamping the white powder off our shoes before we embark on our usual consumerist Pavlov route to the snacks and magazines, we notice that there's a large piece of sheetrock in our way. Upon further inspection, we began to notice that several other pieces of sheetrock were in the way and the entire store was under construction. Like, a silly mess.
Pretty soon, we realize that this is far beyond the usual Walgreens drama and decide to investigate. The store, because of its high tourist volume and constant barrage of American Girl shoppers asking for directions and holding up the checkout line, has finally decided to remodel, hence, making the two-for-$5 pistachios easier to find.
The new layout for the space is conceived by Des Plaines-based Camburas+Theodore who has not worked with Walgreens since the completion of the Clark/Lake store in 2005. Being one of the busiest Walgreens in the world, it makes sense that the renovation has to proceed in stages starting on the north wall (clockwise) as you first enter the space. After speaking with the architect and the store managers, we find out that construction will last through June. Although we got the run down of of the new layout and more importantly, where the two-for-$5 pistachios and Esquire plan to live during the renovation, we don't think that is something you care about.
The flow for the new Chicago-Michigan Ave store will be a more efficient version than the current floor plan because this particular Walgreens plans to expand and put in some new tricks as were used in the the North/Wells store's recent tests like the fresh fruit section, more tourist items, and a outrageous number of self-checkout lanes. The easier layout will keep foot traffic moving in a counter clockwise direction from the maps and souvenirs as you enter, to healthy grab-and-go and photo in the back and the office supplies and pharmacy on the east wall before reaching the checkout which will be moved to the north wall.
· Walgreens [Official Site]