While pols fight Walmart, Duane Reade quietly expands

TRD New York /
Jul.July 20, 2011 09:11 AM

With opposition heating up against the rumored arrival of Walmart at a Related Companies site in East New York, some wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, Duane Reade, another “retail villain,” is expanding all over New York, the New York Observer said.

There are multiple similarities between Walmart and Duane Read, the Observer argued: corporate ownership, rapid expansion and an ambition to drive out competition. Duane Reade is the largest drugstore chain in the city, beating out Rite Aid by 60 stores and CVS by 138 stores. From having only 37 stores in 1992, Duane Reade has a total of 257 today, and more will follow, according to a company spokesperson.

Walgreens bought Duane Read for $618 million in cash and assumed $457 million it debt in early 2010, making it part of the U.S.’ largest drugstore business, one with $67 billion of sales in the fiscal year and 244,000 nonunion employees.

The difference between the threat of Walmart and that of Duane Reade, said City Council Member Charles Barron, is that when Duane Reade moves into a neighborhood, it’s “not going to create any competition, it’s not going to create any loss of jobs. It’s not big enough. It’s not powerful enough; they don’t have it like that.”

Walmart, he said, rejects local distributors and pays low wages. “Walmart is a rotating plantation looking for slaves to pay some low wages and continue to exploit communities to maximize its profits,” he said. [NYO]

Related Articles

Ex-Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale (Credit: Getty Images, Google Maps)

Barneys’ lights still on, but workers left in dark

Faith Hope Consolo (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

The real story behind Faith Hope Consolo’s glamorous life

Bed Bath & Beyond (Credit: Getty Images)

Bed Bath & Beyond is selling its real estate to private equity

Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York City Hotel Trades Council president Peter Ward (Credit: Getty Images)

In nod to union, de Blasio will seek special permit for hotel development

Holiday spending was up this year — especially online (Credit: iStock)

Unsettling news for landlords: Online retailers killed it this holiday season

A moment during massive rally in Midtown this week (Credit: SEIU 32BJ)

32BJ SEIU, office owners avoid strike with tentative labor contract

Moinian Group CEO Joseph Moinian, and a street view of the new Best Buy location (535 Fifth Avenue, at left) and the old one (529 Fifth Avenue, at right) 

Best Buy signs lease for new store at 535 Fifth

From top: 29 Nassau Avenue, 8973 Bay Parkway and 94 9th Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The 10 biggest Brooklyn retail leases of 2019