Thursday, July 7th, 2011
9

A Visit to the Wall Street Duane Reade

At yesterday's opening of Duane Reade's new store at 40 Wall Street, three men in suits sat under a rolling stock ticker and had what seemed to be the first ever power lunch held in a drug store. I gravitated towards the someone who I thought was the manager of the store: I wanted to understand why this Duane Reade was so lush.

She sent me to talk to one of the power lunchers, Joe Magnacca, the—wait for it—President for Daily Living Products & Solutions at Walgreens Duane Reade Inc. With a little soulpatch and nice pinstripe suit, he is clearly the most baller Walgreens exec.

The old Duane Reade top-earner was in the World Trade Center and Duane Reade has been looking for a comparable new worthy space since that one… closed. He told me that the 22,000-square-foot space had been vacant for 15 years. The developers were able to keep most of the original flooring intact—something they were "proud of."

And this Duane Reade employs a fascinating "money" font! All told, the opening went smoothly, although on day two, we are informed that an escalator broke down. (Scandal!)

40 Wall Street—completed in 1930—is the former Bank of Manhattan Trust building and is now known as a Trump Building. Trump is, not surprisingly, a huge cheerleader of his (his? You never know!) new tenant and he has good reason to be—this thing is totally in the Trump mindset. It's not so much a larger Duane Reade as it is a mini-Walmart.

Besides having no fewer items than your average supermarket has, the Duane Reade features a juice bar and a walk-in health clinic.

The sushi counter is staffed by three real live apparently Japanese people™ and there was even an extra, older Real Japanese guy giving them orders and barking commands. The sushi sells for seven dollars a roll and seemed… fine.

But perhaps this is an actual eating destination? Elsewhere, a woman told everyone around her that this Duane Reade had the best egg salad she's ever had in her life.

The incredibly expansive beauty section houses a small nail salon (manicures for $10!). There's also a station to get your hair blown out. Magnacca called this a "blow bar." That was uncomfortable.

A scruffy young dude was seen soliciting skin care advice from the cutest beauty section lady salesperson. His misery was blatant when she grabbed a cream off of the shelf and said "my boyfriend uses this one!" It's still your same old Duane Reade in those ways, even if there's touch-screen Coke machines that dispense drinks like Peach Sprite and Vanilla Coke. I mean, it's just a store.

9 Comments / Post A Comment

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

TESCO EGG & CRESS OR GTFO.

jolie (#16)

One day the author will get a real job and stop being so tickled by things like "titles" and "business units"

Tulletilsynet (#333)

@jolie
For some of us, that stuff just gets funnier in a richer, fuller, more vomity way.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

Manhattan is the new Jersey, and Brooklyn is the new Manhattan.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

> he is clearly the most baller Walgreens exec

I protest the incursion of Time Magazine style into my text hideaway. As Timesque locutions go, however, this is snazzy.

Shit. It's contagious.

GailPink (#9,712)

This store is one block from where I work. I bought a piece of red velvet cake in their refrigerated dessert section on opening day. It was delicious.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

Bank of the Manhattan. Interestingly, in the background of that picture, one can see Chase Manhattan Plaza across the street — JPMorganChase being the successor company of the Bank of the Manhattan.

Once the tallest building in the world, 40 Wall Street suffered, unlike most of the other contenders, from being mid-block, which interfered with appreciation of its height by passers-by.

(Guided tours by appointment only. Volume discounts available on Wednesdays and bank holidays.)

Andrew Piccone (#7,185)

I spent 12 minutes in there on the day it opened and let me tell you, the whole place was fantastic, I wholeheartedly approve. But on the other hand, who the fuck in their right mind would get lunch at the DUANE READE?

I bet the soul patch guy said "You'd have to pay me to eat lunch there!"

PaulDella (#244,608)

Yeah I agree the place is really amazing to have an wonderful time over their.
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