Shoppers Drug Mart Launches New Retail Concept [Photos]

Date:

Share post:

Shoppers Drug Mart has launched a pilot project in a standalone Leaside neighbourhood store, providing customers with a new resource to help them take charge of the way they age.

Wellwise, a first-of-its kind retail experience with specialized products and expert advice to help Canadians stay active and well, opened its first location on Saturday at 65 Wicksteed Avenue in Toronto, in 2,500 square feet of selling space.

“About a year ago we were doing our strategic business review and we were conducting a fair bit of consumer research and really what came out of that consumer research is that Canadians, our customers, were looking for a better shopping experience – a better experience within the stores,” says Scott Wilks, vice-president of Home Health Care for Shoppers Drug Mart.

“They didn’t want to age just comfortably anymore. They really talked about taking control of their aging as they go forward.”

Shoppers Drug Mart says the store will offer a range of specially-selected products and specialized services that will empower residents to make their everyday life healthier, easier and more active. That includes everything from mobility aids to sleep therapy to low-impact fitness and physiotherapy products to nutrition to supports and braces to tools and gadgets for everyday living.

Specialized services include an on-site dietician, professional fitters for compression products and supports and braces, as well as suggestions for home modifications.

The store is designed to be modern, interactive and easy to navigate.

“It’s a very vibrant neighbourhood,” says Wilks of Leaside. “It’s one where the demographics are very positive and we felt there’s a real need for our store and services in that area.”

“(The store) was really designed around the customer. It’s a very bright, vibrant-looking store as you walk in. We focused on navigation to make it easy . . . It’s really shifting the thinking from illness to wellness and keeping people active. There’s a lot of studies out there that say that if you stay active you live longer. So a lot of things in the store promote that activity.”

The pilot store, for example, will be running weekly walking classes with people using urban poles.

But the store won’t only be for older people. The active living section will have everything from yoga mats to light Pilates weights, as well as supports and braces for workers and weekend warriors.

Shoppers Drug Mart says Wellwise will also launch this fall an e-commerce site offering convenient direct-to-home deliveries. Products will be available to customers across Canada.

“It’s an important complement to the overall strategy and it will launch later in October,” says Wilks.

The e-commerce strategy fits nicely into trends in society with the explosion in retail sales through this avenue and also providing convenient shopping for an aging population.

“One of our key target audiences is caregivers. One in five Canadians today are caregivers for older adults. Often they’re not in the same city, the same province. So having an e-commerce option . . . you can have these products delivered straight to their homes. Your mother doesn’t have to go out on a cold, rainy night in Toronto in mid-November to get something. It just gives that comfort,” says Wilks.

Will the bricks and mortar component of the store eventually expand to other locations?

“We’re really treating this as a pilot. We’re going to make sure we get it right. So really our first step is to make sure we get the bricks and mortar done right and really get the feedback from our customers whether this is the right direction and where we’re going and then launching the e-commerce part,” says Wilks.

“We’ll take a measured to approach to how we move forward.”

*All photos were provided courtesy of Shoppers Drug Mart. 

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He is the Senior News Editor with Retail Insider in addition to working as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Mario was named as a RETHINK Retail Top Retail Expert in 2024.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Related articles

Iconic Flo’s Diner in Toronto’s Yorkville Forced to Close After 33 Years Amid Landlord Dispute 

Retail Insider interviewed Flo’s co-owner who discusses the “heart wrenching” situation where he is being forced to close his business that began on Bellair Street in 1991.

Anatomy of a Leader: Teresa Spinelli, Owner of Alberta-Based Italian Centre Shop Ltd.

Spinelli discusses her leadership of the popular retailer which has expanded over the years, describing how she struggled to run the company at first and grew to love it.

Upscale Canadian Fashion Brand SMYTHE Expands with New Standalone Calgary Store [Interview/Photos]

It's the second store location for the Toronto-based brand, which is seeing success with its exclusive womenswear collections.

Toronto’s CF Sherway Gardens Hits Sales Milestone with Exciting Retail Growth and Future Plans [Interview]

The shopping centre is adding new retailers as sales per square foot hit an all-time high, with plans to re-tenant Nordstorm as foot traffic grows following Eataly's opening in the mall a few months ago.

ECS Coffee Opens Canada’s Largest Coffee and Espresso Equipment Gear Showroom and Retail Space in Toronto [Interview]

The new Etobicoke location is unique to Canada if not North America, according to its founder, with coffee roasting, equipment showroom, over 500 varieties of coffee, Youtube studio and various in-store experiences. He has plans to expand the concept nationally.

New Loblaws City Market Opens in Vancouver’s ‘The Post’ Building, Adding Grocery Competition to the Downtown Core [Podcast]

Craig and Lee discuss the opening of a new Loblaws City Market in downtown Vancouver's renovated Post building, and they explore its potential impact on local grocery shopping.

Loblaw Announces $2 Billion Investment in Canada for 2024 with Dozens of New Stores and 7,500 New Jobs [Expert Comment]

The retail behemoth will be growing substantially this year, following backlash over profits as inflation continues to impact Canadians.

Dubai-Based Asian Street Food Concept ‘Wok Boyz’ Expands into Canada with Plans for Multiple Locations [Interview]

The company's founder says the popular concept, with personalized meals, has an opportunity to grow substantially with its high-quality ingredients and theatrical flare, complete with fiery customer-facing woks.

Calgary Surge Basketball Team Launches Innovative Pop-Up at CF Chinook Centre to Boost Community Engagement [Interview]

The retail activation, which opened this month, is resulting in heavier foot traffic in a quieter part of the mall.

Upscale Pusateri’s Fine Foods to Close Yorkville Grocery Store in Toronto After 20 Years

The 5,500 square foot store opened to much fanfare in 2003, with valet parking, private chefs and pricey goods. 

Loblaw and Walmart Could be Forced to Adhere to Grocery Code of Conduct with Legislation [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that it's rare for all of Canada's political parties to agree, signalling a shift that could force grocers to comply amid record inflation.

Factory Direct to Shut All 14 Stores Amid Bankruptcy, Liquidation to Begin Saturday

The company, founded in 1995, is one of Canada’s largest privately owned discount retailers which struggled with declining sales and increasing costs following the pandemic.