A great 24-hour store, pharmacy and 24-hour photo.
When one of my kids needed medicine in the middle of the night, it used to be quite a hassle to find a 24-hour pharmacy and deal with the insurance and everything. It was very nice when Walgreens opened up at Newport and Irvine. It not only dealt with that ugly corner (formerly a gas station), but it is open 24-hours with a drive through pharmacy.
I rate them here in three categories: the one-hour photo, the merchandise and the pharmacy.
Merchandise: This place has saved many a Tustin butt when it comes to a last second birthday card and present. I’m not the only one in there after a late day at work, buying birthday decorations so my kid can wake up to a decorated bedroom. Great selection of stuff, from all the “seen on TV” junk to toys and food. Even some higher end stuff in case I have to buy something for the missus. A real life saver.
If you have a really good printer with six or more ink color cartridges, you can print a picture at home comparable to what you get at a one-hour store. But if your printer is one of those small photo printers and/or has just two or three cartridges, then you are not doing your photos justice. With a commercial, one-hour photo shop, you will get the best quality photos, and they will probably last much longer.
I have a high quality printer, and yet I still use Walgreens because of the convenience factor. I especially like Walgreens because it is a 24-hour store, and if I get a hankering at 11:00 p.m. to print out the photos I've been editing all day, I can upload them to Walgreens and pick them up at midnight. Try that at Costco. Plus, I avoid all the little annoyances that come with printing at home, such as realizing I'm out of cyan ink, having to align the print heads and clean the nozzles, or investing the time and supplies to print a nice 11 x 13, only to have the printer hiccup half way through the print. I haven't done the math, but I also suspect that the prints at Walgreens are cheaper than printing at home. Once you get on their email list, you will routinely receive discount offers, often bringing the cost per print down to just five cents.
Go to Walgreens.com and test the service with a few of your photos. The interface isn't perfect, and I wish they offered a larger variety of print sizes, but this is, after all, designed more for consumers than "prosumers" as the photo magazines call them. They will also mail your photos to you, which kind of defeats the whole one-hour thing, but it's very convenient.
If I could break down the star ratings by category, this is where Walgreens would get only four stars. On the plus side, I started using them for my family’s prescriptions long ago and have never switched. Two other pharmacies could never get our very low co-pay correct, and most pick-ups would entail a wait while they corrected their errors. This has only happened once at Walgreens.
The are also very cutting edge with their electronic ordering (as far as I know since I have not used other pharmacies for quite some time). You can order through an iPhone app that tracks your prescriptions and available refills.
I only give them four stars here because the pharmacy seems understaffed. I have been given a one hour time estimate on occasion. Other pharmacies give a gift card if the wait is any more than 15 minutes. Also, they seem to keep the inventory too low, because I have been told on a few occasions that they are out of the medicine on the prescription.
Posted on 1/2/2012