Hear that sound? It’s the combined sobs of New Yorkers as the deal to turn all 258 Duane Reade drugstores in the metropolitan area, as well as two distribution centers and Duane Reade headquarters, into Walgreens has now been made official.
The $623 million deal was signed off on yesterday, making Walgreens the largest drugstore operator in NYC. Previously, the Illinois-based company had only 70 stores in the Duane Reade-dominated city.
As part of the deal, Walgreens will also be taking on Duane Reade’s $457 million in debt.
Many New Yorkers, including yours truly, used to seeing a Duane Reade on every corner greeted the first murmurings of the deal back in February with a mixture of sadness and outrage.
But before you decide to boycott your local Walgreens (where ya gonna go anyway?), the usurpers – er, company, has said its plan thus far is to keep the Duane Reade moniker on NYC’s stores.
All I know is if I don’t have aisles filled with boxes of merchandise to step over and can’t hear the surly shrieks of “NEXT!!!”, I will not be happy. Step up, Walgreens.
Let’s all take a moment to remember our favorite Duane Reade moments, shall we?
Walgreen completes deal for Duane Reade stores [BusinessWeek]