Walgreen said Wednesday it will pay about $1.1 billion in cash to acquire New York-based Duane Reade Holdings. Named for the two streets that flanked the chain's first location on Broadway, 50-year-old Duane Reade operates 257 stores. The acquisition will give national chain Walgreen a way to expand its New York presence. "It's the only way Walgreen is going to get a powerful position in New York because Manhattan real estate is very difficult to get," said retail consultant Howard Davidowitz.
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