Ecostore bites into big, green apple

Eco-friendly Kiwi cleaning brand ecostore has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Duane Reade of New York, which, with more than 250 outlets, is the biggest drugstore chain in city.

As well as being large, Malcolm Rands, the founder of ecostore, says Duane Reade also has a reputation for plying the Manhattan coolios with their tonics and tinctures. And ecostore is being promoted as the cutting-edge eco option.

The chain, which opened its doors around 50 years ago, will initially stock over 20 of ecostore’s core household cleaning, baby and personal care products, in a variety of sizes and fragrances.

“When we did the numbers and saw that Duane Reade’s stores on Manhattan Island own 70 percent of the laundry, cleaning products and soap categories, we knew we were on to a winner,” he says.

Duane Reade’s chief marketing officer Joe Magnacca says the exclusive partnership with ecostore will enable them to fulfil a growing demand for authentic green plant-based cleaning products.

“The rise in eco-friendly households in the New York region puts ecostore in pole position to enjoy solid growth. Ecostore’s leadership in New Zealand and their ongoing commitment to innovation and quality initiatives set them apart,” he says.

Obviously, sustainability is a critical factor for the company (it was named New Zealand’s most Sustainable Business of the Year at the NZI National Sustainable Business Network Awards last year), so to help manage its carbon footprint, all products for this growing market, except from a range of bar soaps that are shipped to the United States, will be manufactured locally in an eco-factory based in Detroit.

The move into New York is an important part of ecostore’s continued US expansion, which began in late 2008 when the hypermarket chain Meijer in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois started stocking its products.

Despite fierce competition in the US, with around six well-established brands seeking to enter the ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning product market, Rands is certain the move into Duane Reade will provide ecostore with the right exposure, particularly given the recent acquisition of the chain by Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the United States with 7,000 stores across 50 states.

And this, says Rands, could eventually open much larger doors for ecostore.

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