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Walgreens vs CVS

As I said in the tweet. There is a group of friends online who have been hounding me to do a Walgreens vs CVS blog. Apparently, it is a real hot button issue amongst them. Must be a fun group of guys. So, I'm going to go to a Walgreens, then to a CVS, and I will decide which one is best. I will base my decision on a number of factors. I will decide what these factors are while I am in the stores. I reserve the right to add additional factors at any time. If there is a factor that I can't make funny, then I probably will not include it. The stores will be rewarded a certain number of points for each factor. The most points win.

Keep in mind, I am basing this all off of the Walgreens & CVS nearest to the Barstool Sports office in the middle of Manhattan. My experience at these 2 individual stores will determine which national pharmacy chain is the superior pharmacy. 

Factor 1 - Branding


I decided that I would go to Walgreens first. There is a "Duane Reade by Walgreens" right next to the office, but I wanted to find one that was just a Walgreens. So, I pulled up a map and typed in Walgreens. My map told me that there were a couple of them nearby.

I walked to the nearest one, which is located inside of Penn Station. When I got there, the sign said Duane Reade. But that's ok. It didn't seem fair to judge that one anyways. A train station Walgreens wouldn't be a good representation of Walgreens, and I wanted to give them a fair shake. So, I walked one block east to where my map said Walgreens was located. When I got there, the sign said Duane Reade. Every one of them is called Duane Reade.

Walgreens was off to a horrendous start. I was having a bad time. It was hot. I was sweaty. It was rush hour so there were a million people outside. Just a terrible look for Walgreens. I should have gone back to judge the store right by our office (it's a nice store, I've been there multiple times), but I was so annoyed by their branding that I specifically walked back to the store inside of Penn Station so I could judge them based on their shitty train station pharmacy. 

Branding Score: 0 Points


I located a CVS on my map. When I got there, the sign said CVS.

Branding Score: 50 points

Factor 2: Was the pharmacy not in a train station?



Not in a train station score: 0 Points



Not in a train station score: 50 Points


Factor 3: Security Guard


When I walked into the train station "Walgreens", I just kinda stood there for a minute. I hadn't thought anything through. I thought I would just walk into the store, be struck by a wave of inspiration, and the blog would write itself. It didn't happen that way. As I was standing there like an idiot, I realized I didn't bring any nicotine. I looked behind the counter to see if they sold Zyns. As I was looking, the security guard asked me, "Are you looking for something?"

I said, "Do you guys sell Zyn?"

He said, "No but we have nicotine gum."

Security Guard Score: 0 Points


I could not find a security guard. They did not seem to have one.

Security Guard Score: 50 Points

Factor 4: Flooring

Everyone told me to note the difference in flooring. I could not care less about the floors. Maybe if I had to clean them I would have an opinion. But I don't have to clean them. I am just a customer. Anyways, here are the floors.


Flooring Score: 0 Points



Flooring Score: 0 Points

Factor 5: Favorite Item

Points will be awarded for whoever has the best item. 


The best item at Walgreens was a Cannabis Now magazine featuring former NFL Running Back Ricky Williams. In the picture, he is blowing a cloud. Everyone loves Ricky Williams. He is considered by many to be the first NFL player to smoke weed. A young John Rich thought that was pretty neat. It taught me that you could do drugs and still excel in sports. Walgreens finally gets on the board.

Favorite Item Score: 50 Points


The best item at CVS was Big Lips. I tried to pick up the lips, but they were attached to the display. I thought about standing behind them and taking a selfie so it looked like they were my lips, but I already have big lips on my actual face. I'm not sure if selfies are my brand anyways. Plus, an unfriendly looking woman was watching me, so I just snuck a regular pic. I am giving less points to CVS because the lips were not for sale.


Favorite Item Score: 20 Points

Factor 6: Funniest Card

Funny birthday cards are the backbone of the pharmaceutical industry. The card must be located in the "Birthday Funny" section of the cards aisle.


Funniest Card Score: 10 Points


Funniest Card Score: 300 Points


Factor 7: Gummy Candy Selection

90% of the time I go to a pharmacy I am buying candy. Gummy candy to be exact. I could write an entire blog on the best gummy candies. I probably will some day too. 


Very underwhelming selection. It's barely even a gummy candy section. I don't see a single bag of Lifesavers Gummies. No Jolly Rancher Gummies. Haribo candy is extremely overrated (except for Happy Cherries & Happy Cola Bottles purchased together to make Cherry Cola Gummies). I've never considered buying Hi-Chews. They could be good but the packaging is terrible so I will not be purchasing them anytime soon. They only have 2 different flavors of Skittles. Sour Patch kids are great, but who doesn't carry Sour Patch Kids? There are a few different Starburst brand candies, but overall it is a poor selection. I shouldn't be able to take a picture of their entire gummy candy selection in one picture.

Gummy Candy Selection Score: 10 Points


CVS had a better candy selection, but it was still lacking. They have a whole section of the cheap boxed candy which is great for when you're on a budget. There is a better selection of Sour Patch Kids. Jolly Rancher Gummies are available. Multiple flavors of Twizzlers. I don't think they have any Skittles. The more I look at it, it's really not a whole lot better than Walgreens.

Gummy Candy Selection Score: 17 Points


Factor 8: Items in Locked Cases

New York City pharmacies lock up everything behind thick plastic cases. New York is littered with thieves. I used to thieve as a youth. My specialties were candy that could fit in my pockets, and cough syrup. I had a "drink a whole bottle of cough syrup to myself" phase in high school. Being high on cough syrup is a terrible feeling and I have no idea why I ever did it. Probably because I thought it would make me like Ricky Williams. 

Walgreens and CVS pretty much had the exact same things locked up. Deodorant, shampoo, Plan B, women's products, expensive chocolates, etc. It takes a lot of effort to actually go find an employee and have them unlock a case for you. I would have to really need a product if I'm going to go through all that. 


The one thing Walgreens had locked up that CVS didn't was the Wonderful Pistachios. I never even considered buying Wonderful Pistachios from them. 

Instead, I purchased an orange juice. There were no repercussions for my orange juice purchase.

Locked Up Things Score: 130 Points


CVS had their Wonderful Pistachios out on the shelf for anyone to take. After spending 30 minutes in the store taking pictures and carrying around an empty basket, I had to buy something. The Wonderful Pistachios were right there. There was no glass case preventing me from purchasing them. With nothing separating me from the pistachios, I impulsively grabbed a bag for my walk back to the office.

Again, I don't often post selfies. I decided against taking the one with the big plastic lips. However, I was feeling good about myself after a hard hour's work of walking around New York pharmacies, so I fired off this bad boy.


Now this is a regrettable tweet for several reasons. I'm not a selfie guy, nobody asked for the selfie, and it has nothing to do with my Walgreens vs CVS blog. But I was feeling cocky so I let it fly. 

But above all, I had forgotten that Wonderful Pistachios were heavily frowned upon by my new boss Dave. 

They were just so readily available at CVS. It all happened so fast. It could have happened to anyone here. 

Do you know where this wouldn't have happened? Walgreens. Never in a trillion years would I ask a Walgreens/Train Station employee to unlock a case of pistachios for me. I had an overall terrible experience with Walgreens, but in the end, they were looking out for me. CVS hung me out to dry.

Locked Up Things Score: -287 Points

Factor 9: Real Opinion

Now that I have gotten some jokes off, and made it so the score is tied, I am free to give my real opinion. When I got back to the office to review my findings, I quickly realized that I didn't have any findings at all. I didn't do any research. I just walked around a couple of pharmacies, jotted down some nonsensical notes, and took a bunch of pictures. I took so many pictures. I barely used any of them. Here are some of the ones that didn't make the cut. 


After realizing how little information I gathered from the stores, I then realized how little I care about this at all. I'm not going to lie to you guys, they are the exact same store. They both have a little bit of everything, and it's all slightly more expensive than what you would pay for it at a Wal-Mart or a grocery store. But I will try to make a decision. I am going to dig deep and muster up as much care as I possibly can. Then I will come to a conclusion. Ok here we go. I'm thinking about my experience at both locations.

I really didn't like how Walgreen's goes by Duane Reade here in New York. It made me feel stupid. I definitely should have known that already. 

Gun to my head, I would have to say that Walgreens has the better floors. Tile is better than carpet. But that still has nothing to do with what makes for a better pharmacy.

People told me to compare the air conditioning, but they both felt the same to me. 

CVS has long receipts. Those are pretty funny. Walgreens might have them too, but when you think long receipts you definitely think CVS first.

I'm sorry everyone. They are the same store. I will not be making a decision. I did not enjoy my experience at either pharmacy. I didn't hate my experience either. Nothing exciting or funny happened to me at either place. I just wasted a full day of work writing this. Next time I have to choose between a CVS and a Walgreens, I will be choosing whichever one is closest. Or maybe I will try Rite-Aid. 

Also, Would products are sold at CVS. I've been stealing shampoo from the other guy in my Airbnb for the last couple of days, so if I put this ad in maybe they'll let me take some home. Would, A Barstool Brand.


Walgreens = CVS