Walgreens, Duane Reade's owner, is losing out to E-commerce. Will it cost Roosevelt Island another storefront?
Walgreens, Duane Reade's owner, is losing out to E-commerce. Will it cost Roosevelt Island another storefront?

Duane Reades Are DisappearingIn NYC, Leaving Unexpected Nostalgia In Their Wake is the headline in a Gothamist article. Our reader Sylvan Klein and I had similar reactions: Is Roosevelt Island next?

"According to Duane Reade's map locator on its website, there are currently 91 locations in New York City. Of that number, 76 are in Manhattan. Compare that to less than 10 years ago, when there were 253 branches in the city, according to the New York Times," Elizabeth Kin reported.

A major contributing influence, as it is with retail across the board, are fast growing e-commerce options that promise ease, free delivery and best prices.

In 2010, Duane Reade stores lost all local roots when the chain was swallowed up by Chicago-based Walgreens. 

A Walgreens spokesman told The Gothamist that 16 Duane Reade/Walgreens stores have been eliminated this year in New York City. Nationwide, they plan to cut 200 more.

Will Roosevelt Island's 425 Main Street store be one of them?

It seems a good candidate. Already, they're the only Duane Reade in Manhattan that declines to build its pharmacy base by offering deliveries. Others less than a mile away, according to Walgreens's locater map, can serve anyone here who prefers not to use Gristedes pharmacy, leaving the chain with less to lose.

And they don't normally have the annoyingly unorganized cashier lines that irritate while indicating commercial success. 

If Urgent Care couldn't survive here, and they never really came close to profitable, can Duane Reade under Walgreen's management?

A lot depends on their lease, of course, and how flexible Hudson Related is with it.

In the aftermath of a possible closing, Hudson Related might again be fishing for low end replacements for once reliable Main Street retail.