Friday, September 30, 2011

It's a Miracle You're Still In Business - Thanks Walgreens Bail Out!

So BusinessWeek profiled the DR and spent 20 minutes on the phone with me for the article. Nothing I said made it in, but it was a fluff piece about DR's new lipstick-on-a-pig campaign, so as expected.

Also? Just because this blog is now #6 in search terms versus #1 doesn't mean people like your pharmacy. It means we've focused on other projects that aren't as depressing and haven't created new articles. Pretty much SEO 101.

Pretty sad when you use the measure of THIS spiteful blog as your benchmark for success.

"The layouts were labyrinthine and the merchandise disorganized. The staff was so famously sullen that the blog “I Hate Duane Reade: Service from Hell” used to come up first when Googling the company. In 2007, New York magazine asked the actress Martha Plimpton, a lifelong resident of the city, what she hated most about living there. “The dead-eyed pharmacy people at Duane Reade,” she said. “It’s always a journey into the heart of darkness.”


"Duane Reade still has some transforming to do. This year it again ranked last among pharmacies in customer service, as measured by J.D. Power. Its score did improve, though, something that’s never happened in the five years the survey has been taken. Duane Reade executives prefer another ranking, which measures how likely it is that a customer will refer someone to the chain; on that score, Duane Reade says it has improved 150 percent since 2008.

Then there’s the informal score: The I Hate Duane Reade blog went quiet after Walgreens bought the chain. These days, if you Google Duane Reade, the blog comes up sixth."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Walgreens EATS Duane Reade for Breffesst


(via Gawker)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Gentler Sox

Is this the dawn of sexist pricing? Because what I'm seeing here is:

One pair of plain, white, low cut Women's Kushyfoot socks for $4.19.

And right next to them? THREE pairs of plain, white, low cut Men's Kushyfoot socks for $4.99.

Who's fault is this? Kushyfoot's MRSP? Duane's fleecing tactics? Discuss.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rules of Supply and Demand

When there's no demand for your product - put that shit on sale.

Oh and why is there empty space at the bottom? Half went over to an end cap (the beginning of an aisle) for 'special promotion'. Don't fool yourself - sparkling kool aid ain't selling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

You Want Feedback? I Think I Can Help.

Checked my Twitter feed (@ihateduanereade, come spread happiness with me) and stumbled upon this little nugget of joy:

DR_DuaneReade: Thanks for your message ... looking forward to working with you and addressing your challenges and def welcome your feedback ... thank you!

(Damn. I forgot that I have my feed on temporary auto-message, which sent our friend a little note from yours truly.)

Oh, Brian. Let me share the challenges me and the IHDR readers face. As for 'feedback'? You have this blog to play with.

1. This re-branding of Duane Reade, while very bright and shiny, doesn't cover up the fact there are systematic issues with your drugstores. The old 'lipstick on a pig' solution doesn't work.

2. The heart of this blog and the subject of 99% of the complaints about DR is your STAFF. They are not happy, therefore they treat us like assholes. It's like the classic abuse cycle. Pay them more, change their hours, give them incentives, whatever it takes. Don't just hire more staff, or fancy staff, like the skin care girl who stands there drinking her morning smoothie (yeah, I saw you in the Herald Square location). Hire managers who motivate, not intimidate.

Side note: I'm not excusing the idiot customer here, as there are some champion douchebags out there. However, customers don't make money off of the way they treat employees. Businesses make money off of giving, at least, satisfactory service for payment.

3. Your pharmacy. I can't even begin to get into this. Stop losing our prescriptions, hiring bored, inattentive staff to man the front counter, lying about policies (ex. how you can't transfer scripts between branches more than 3 times, but invite website users to do so for every medication via your website. I'm looking at you, 86th Street.), and how long it will take to get our prescriptions.

Also? Pick up your damn phone.

4. Your cashier line. I see with the new stores you have a nice little cattle corral, with which to coordinate your customers into one orderly line. But the other 80% of your stores still have a row of cashieR, who is unwilling to make eye contact with the very confused double line of people, and who most certainly won't make the effort to say 'hi folks - one line only, please.'

5. Where the hell is your manager? He's certainly not helping when morning rush hits and there are four employees rearranging cigarette boxes, while an angry mob gives up and discards their purchases in the candy shelves - in favor of making it to work on time and keeping jobs.

Yeah, I make it sound soooooo easy, don't I? Well, if you took some of your budget and applied it to staff training and layout efficiency programs, there wouldn't be a need for pretty, shiny colors...or thousands of laminated, earth-unfriendly, 'Duane Readers' that will only end up strewn across the sidewalk and stuck under the security guy's shoe.

Thanks, Brian, for 'working' with me. I'm sure we'll have some great conversations. Oh, and if marketing for Duane Reade doesn't pan out after the holiday season (because let's face it, this is only a 4th quarter push and most likely not a long term investment), maybe the old guy behind the photo counter will let you take over.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Duane Tries a Little 'That's What She Said'...Fails.

Click on image for larger version. Heh.

Update: Brian is BACK!

Remember this post, where we'd discovered that Duane Reade's Twitter feed was a bit lacking in skill, updates, life signs, customer service? The last time they'd posted was in late May and seemed a bit confused as how to handle the rush of customer DMs and @replies.

Well, "Brian's" back, ya'll!

@duane_reade started to show signs of life on October 28th and a new Twitter addy @dr_DuaneReade has been added. Both are run by poor Brian. I wouldn't want that job. Once people catch wind that you are available for comments and questions, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Anyone want to place bets on how long they will last? Will they follow 'IHDR' (@ihateduanereade - feel free to show your love)? More to come, my fellow victims.

UPDATE: We're being followed on Twitter by Brian himself. What should we ask?