Our Long National Duane Reade Nightmare is Over

02.17.10 Cajun Boy


For so long many New Yorkers probably looked forward to this day, and now it’s finally here: Duane Reade, the ubiquitous local drug store chain famous for its surly employees, is being bought up by Walgreens. RIP Duane Reade.

Yes the chain that seems to have everything inside of their thousand stores in every NYC neighborhood will soon be no more. Surely there will be some who lament its demise, but these people are a small minority. Aside from being an easy place to get good lube at 3am, Duane Reade probably won’t be missed much. So much for that whole re-branding thing, eh?

Reports Dealbook:

“Duane Reade is a compelling strategic acquisition that will immediately provide Walgreens with a leading position in the largest drugstore market in the U.S.,” Gregory D. Wasson, Walgreen’s chief executive, said in a statement.

Duane Reade, founded in 1960 and named after the two streets in Lower Manhattan where the first store was built, generated about $1.8 billion in sales in 2009, according to Walgreen.

Last year, Oak Hill invested an additional $125 million into Duane Reade to keep the company from defaulting. Oak Hill also sought to refresh the chain’s image, giving it a new logo and giving its stores more light and aisle space.

Under the terms of the deal, Duane Reade stores will continue to operate under their current name for now, and most of its senior management team will remain for the time being. Walgreen still expects to eventually integrate Duane Reade’s stores into its 7,162-outlet stable, which includes 70 stores in the New York City area.

Surely the people behind the IHateDuaneReade and DuaneReadeSucks blogs will be pleased.

Photo via Bitchcakes’ Flickr