RUTH LA FERLA GOES SHOPPING:

A Chain Out Of Its League Edition

PLANNING AHEAD:

L.L.Bean Signature's
One Day Flash Fall Preview

TODAY IN DRUGSTORES:

Does Your Local Duane Reade
Look Like This?

14thstduanereade
It does of you live near Union Square.

Yesterday we wandered into the newest Duane Reade which has opened in a yet another section of the former Virgin Megastore in 14th Street. Judging from the profusion of company executives buzzing around, it may have been open for only a few hours, but if this is really the wave of the future for the alternately loved and despised local drugstore chain now that it has Walgreen's money behind it, then we are totally on board.

Only one of the four Duane Reade's within a few blocks of Shophound HQ has been renovated to reflect the company's new store concept, but it's nowhere near this impressive. The cosmetics section (above) looks more like a Sephora, or at least a very good Target. The food section is now like a mini supermarket. The pharmacy section is enormous, and there are at least twice as many registers as we have ever seen in even the biggest Duane Reade stores. Later in the year, it will add a walk-in medical clinic. Will they be able to keep up this higher maintenance showplace? Time will tell, and there certainly remain more than a few older, cramped and dingy branches that are still waiting for their makeovers. Oddly, we couldn't find the Chase bank machine that is a fixture in all of the chain's branches, which was the reason we went in in the first place, so it wasn't entirely flawless, but otherwise, the new-style Duane Reade is looking tough to criticize.

Duane Reade (Official Site)

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