Today In New York History: Walgreens Buying Duane Reade, Pearl Paint Closing Stores Around The Country

Walgreens Buys Duane Reade

Major news today for two New York retailing icons (well, okay maybe one icon, and one eye sore).

Duane Reade Bought By Walgreen’s

Walgreen Co. (WAG 34.26, +0.18, +0.53%) said Wednesday it would buy the privately held metropolitan New York drug store chain for about $1.08 billion from private-equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners.

Walgreen, the largest U.S. drug store chain, currently runs 70 of its own stores in the New York metropolitan area, compared to Duane Reade’s 257. The Deerfield, Ill.-based company said it will decide over time how to best “harmonize” the Walgreens and Duane Reade brands. Duane Reade will continue to operate under its brand name after the transaction closes, Walgreen said.

Why they’d keep the battered Duane Reade name is a mystery, surely Walgreens has better brand equity. New Yorkers would likely embrace a Walgreens. Let’s hope it’s only the name that remains the same. [MarketWatch]

I guess DR’s big marketing push didn’t really turn things around for the ubiquitous drugstore chain.

Pearl Paint Closing Stores Around The Country

The self-proclaimed World’s Largest Discount Art Supplier, Pearl Paint is closing up shop around the country. Of the two Manhattan locations, both on Lispenard Street, the framing shop is in the process of closing and surplus products have been making their way over to the main store across the street. Other stores have already closed. As of today, the Web site lists only six locations – two in Manhattan, one in Paramus, New Jersey, and Los Angeles, as well as two others in Florida. (The corporate offices are located in Fort Lauderdale.) The large Chicago store, which was once rated the best art supply store by NewCity.com, closed down last week, with the San Francisco and Iselin, New Jersey locations following suit this week. [ArtFagCity]

The NYTimes also reports that the Pearl stores on Long Island, in Westbury, NY, Selden, NY, and Cambridge, Mass have already closed. Pearl’s problems aren’t just limited to the East Coast either, the stores San Francisco and Los Angeles are running deep-discount sales like those in the final days of the stores that are now gone.

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