Would you like sushi with that Lipitor?

Drug store Duane Reade selling sushi makes no sense. Please!

By Jamie Dlugosch Feb 18, 2010 1:06PM

Credit: (© Michael Dominic/Landov)Of all the crazy ideas executives foist upon their companies, selling sushi at the drug store has to be among the craziest.


Apparently somebody at Duane Reade, the heavily-in-debt and struggling drug store, thought this was a good idea because shoppers at its Midtown Manhattan location can now buy the prepackaged Japanese delicacy for under $10.


Coffee at McDonald's (MCD) was one thing, but sushi at the drug store is another. What will Duane Reade offer next, Ruth's Chris (RUTH) steaks?


One has to wonder if the folks at Walgreen's (WAG) were aware of this not-so-strategic decision when they announced a deal to buy Duane Reade?


I doubt it.


I also doubt that Walgreen’s will take this apparently local move to the main stream. That said in this tough economy anything is possible.


The drug store is no longer the corner shop that sells the occasional soda or burger with its medicine. Today’s drug store is selling more food and sundry items in an effort to compete with local grocery and discount retailers.


That approach makes sense given the traffic generated from pharmaceutical sales. Putting things, anything in front of that traffic has the potential to generate additional revenue for the operator.


What doesn’t make sense is taking that pressure to sell too far. At some point you ultimately alienate your customers by trying to do something that you are just not capable of doing.


I would put making and selling quality sushi in that category. As Iron Chef Masaharu noted in the NY Post article sushi is no longer sushi after spending too much time in the refrigerator.


The rice starts getting hard and the consistency of the fish becomes somewhat rubbery. I love sushi and I know from experience what this stuff would taste like. Trust me it is not a pretty thought.


Of course this is all somewhat in jest, but if executives take this seriously I would seriously question their competence. If Walgreen’s does roll this out nationwide the value of its stock could suffer.


It just isn’t right to think of drugs and sushi mixing like this. I get nauseated just thinking about it. Hopefully Walgreen’s kills this idea sooner than later. Here are 10 stocks that should be taken seriously.


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