The pharmacy and convenience store chain was founded in 1960 in New York City by Abraham, Eli, and Jack Cohen.
Initially started as a full-service drugstore, the shop was named after its location between Duane and Reade Streets in lower Manhattan. The company’s first warehouse was also located between those two streets and Broadway.
The Cohens sold out of Duane Reade in 1992, reportedly for US$239 million. After a lot of growing pains, the firm was eventually acquired in 2010 by Walgreens, for around US$1 billion.
Today, and throughout its history, Duane Reade’s stores have been based primarily in and around New York City. The brand is famous for segmenting its stores into four distinct sections: pharmacy, beauty, seasonal items, and groceries.
If you’re wondering how Duane Reade is able to afford so many stores in convenient locations in one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets, as well as succeed with such a confusing store layout, read “The Mystery of Duane Reade” by Ian Mount at New York magazine.