In which Duane Reade sucks a lot less

16 Sep

New New Yorkers, you’re moving at a very good time, drug store-wise. Cue the hallelujah chorus! Duane Reade is remodeling.

Raise the topic of the antiseptic Duane Reade of (almost) yore, and you’ll get New Yorkers surprisingly riled up. Just like Chase ATMs, there’s a Duane Reade every few blocks; we go there because it’s easy. But we were fed up with the hard-to-navigate layout, unfriendly prices (are you kidding me with the $10 for Dove body wash?), precious few sales, stock boxes in the aisles and pore-piercing doctor’s office lighting.

The new neutral-toned interiors, wider aisles, expanded beauty section and softer lighting are huge improvements. (In light of all this, I guess I can make my piece with the clashing typefaces in the new logo.)

Additionally, they’ve installed kiosks in which you can view and order prints of your photos, make cards and calendars and so forth. 4×6 prints are 30 cents each — not bad for next-day service.

Recently I even saw a few new deals, like two for $4 boxes of cereal when you spend $20 or more. Duane Reade also does online RX refills and has a rewards card, but I await a better system for the $5 coupons than printing them on the receipt; I’m always throwing them away. Can they credit my rewards card? Like the revenue from unused gift cards, I bet Duane Reade makes buckets of money off those thrown-away receipts.

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