Revco buys Eakle's stores

February 03, 1997


Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Eakle's Drug Store, a local tradition for decades in Williamsport, became part of the Revco chain on Monday.

Three other Eakle's Drug Stores on Dual Highway, Virginia Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown have closed permanently, said former owner Leon Catlett, 54, of Fairplay.

The six pharmacists employed by Eakle's are now working for the chain. Clerks also have been retained.

The Virginia Avenue location will remain an outlet for the U.S. Post Office, he said.

Eakle's on Burhans Boulevard will continue operations for institutional medical services but will not be open to the public, he said.

Revco announced the business deal, saying prescription records from the closed pharmacies will be transferred to other Revcos.

Catlett was reluctant to talk about the deal, which ends his 30 years with Eakle's. The local pharmacy chain started with one store on Pennsylvania Avenue and grew to five stores. He said he began working for Eakle's fresh out of pharmacy school.


Catlett said his frustration with managed care insurance was the main the reason he decided to get out of the business.

"The insurance companies control what the pharmacies are paid," Catlett said. "Sixty percent of the business was in prescriptions paid by insurance companies."

Revco spokesman Thomas Dingledy said Revco's computer network allows prescriptions to be filled from any Revco location.

Prescription customers were surprised to find out about the change.

"It's a shame," said Don Wilson of Halfway. He had gone to the Virginia Avenue pharmacy to have a prescription filled for his son.

"This is a real surprise," Wilson said when he learned that prescription services were no longer available. "I guess I'll just go elsewhere."

"I hate to see this store close," said Frances Russell of Halfway.

Esther Shaw of Halfway said she was upset because the store gave customers no clue about the change on Saturday, when she and her husband had a prescription filled at the Virginia Avenue store.

She walked into the store Monday afternoon to find the pharmacy closed and the shelves empty.

"This is certainly going to be inconvenient," Shaw said.

The Williamsport store at 31 N. Conococheague St. becomes the fifth Revco store in the Hagerstown area, Dingledy said. There are 2,600 Revco stores in 17 states, he said.

Signs welcoming Eakle's Drug Store customers were displayed at the Revco stores on Wesel Boulevard and Dual Highway, where prescription records had been transferred. Signs at the closed stores direct customers to Revco locations.

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