Yesterday, Crain's reported that city pharmacy behemoth Duane Reade will take over leases of eight Gristede's locations in Manhattan. Each of the locations will converted into pharmacies, which would bring the total of Manhattan Duane Reade locations to 143.
The locations of the soon-to-be-gone Gristede's weren't revealed, but Crain's did describe the grocer thusly:
Gristedes operates 38 grocery stores in Manhattan, including seven locations with full pharmacy service. The New York grocer has been hurt in recent years by an influx of upscale competitors such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.
From our experience, Gristede's has also been hurt by not being that great. There had been a Gristede's on Broadway between 73rd and 74th, a block south of Fairway, which definitely had a great selection of common items (hello, Cool Ranch Doritos), but the staff was terrible. And the pharmacy charged easily 50-70% more on many items.
How do current Gristede's shoppers feel about the store? And two years ago, New York Magazine had a great article about the Duane Reade business model - it doesn't make that much money per square foot.
Photograph of Gristede's shopping bag by Triborough on Flickr