DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreen Co. here completed the acquisition of Duane Reade Holdings on April 9. The transaction includes all 258 Duane Reade stores in the New York City metropolitan area, as well as Duane Reade's corporate office and two distribution centers.
The deal, which cost Walgreens just over $1 billion, gives the drugstore retailer the No. 1 position in the country’s largest drug store market.
“I think it’s clear that Walgreens fell behind CVS in acquisition and innovation in recent years and it is playing catch-up. There is almost an entirely new management team in place and a renewed focus,” Neil Stern, senior partner at McMillan Doolittle, Chicago, told SN. “Expect to see a lot happening in the coming months,” he said.
Walgreens currently plans for Duane Reade to continue operating under its brand name. With 70 Walgreens stores in the New York City metropolitan area, Walgreens will consider the most effective way to harmonize both brands over time.
John Spina, Walgreens vice president of retail integration and new format development, will continue to oversee the Duane Reade integration process as he has since the acquisition was announced. Spina will work closely with John Lederer, Duane Reade chairman and chief executive officer, who was the former president of Loblaw Cos. He will continue to direct Duane Reade operations.
Spina's responsibility for leading Walgreens Rewiring for Growth initiative — which is on track to deliver $1 billion in annual cost reductions in fiscal 2011 — was recently transitioned to Don Huonker, Walgreens senior vice president of health care innovation.
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