Four chains dominate the drugstore scene in NYC. They are CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid and Walgreens. If you factor in Walgreens purchase of Duane Reade there are in fact only 3 but Walgreens has not changed Duane Reede’s branding at all but you can bet they are determining the pricing of what is sold.
Duane Reade dominates Manhattan. Rite Aid dominates the Bronx and Brooklyn and has a shot at dominating Queens but if you count Walgreens and Duane Reade as one, it’s matched by those 2. And CVS dominates Staten Island. I got my stats here Drugstore Turf War In NYC.
Most New Yorkers will mostly shop at the nearest drugstore whether it’s one of the chains or it’s an independent pharmacy. And most people may not pay much attention to price. But a recent small comparison of prices at 3 of the chains, Duane Reade, CVS and Rite Aide showed that Duane Reade was consistently approximately a dollar more on selected items. In this particualr case, a basket of 9 common items at Duane Reade was $10 dearer than at CVS in one location in NYC, $10 dearer that CVS and $8 dearer that Rite Aid in the final location. If you’re counting your pennies, walking down the block to CVS, Rite Aid or an independent may save you money. See here,Duane Reade New York’s Most Expensive Drugstore?. Also see the video attached which fingers Walgreens as the msot expensive drugstore in other States, but bear in mind that Duane Reedsw and Walgreens are under the same ownership.
Since Amazon now offers free 24 hr delivery if you are a Prime member, I costed the same basket of goodies used by ScoutingNY for his comparison. and the Amazon cost came in at $10 under Duane Reade too, though bear in mind that it costs to be a Prime member of Amazon so that has to be factored in. But provided you can plan ahead for general pharmacy purchases such as shampoo, toilet paper etc, then by shopping online you can save both time and money. And Amazon is of course only one online store. I don’t know what those items would cost on other grocery sites.