Thrifty shoppers, beware. A consumer watchdog group descended on New York, LA, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Orange County, and promptly went shopping, purchasing a list of 25 items from 485 CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid locations. What it found: Price differences of as much as 55% for the same product at Walgreens locations in the same city, reports the Chicago Tribune. (Price variations at CVS and Rite Aid weren't nearly so dramatic.)
CNN shares some examples: A bottle of eye drops that cost $9.99 in Queens was $15.49 at a 57th Street location in Manhattan; the price of Folgers coffee varied as much as $3 at Dallas-Fort Worth locations. A Walgreens rep attributed the variance to the cost of real estate, hours of operation, labor costs, and the size of the customer base served by each location. (The Tribune notes that such price adjustments aren't illegal.) Change to Win and the National Consumers League—which released the report yesterday—advise customers to avoid flagship stores. CNN notes that the 25 items cost almost 20% more at a NYC flagship location as compared to other nearby Walgreens.