Independent Pharmacies Try to Lure Costa Customers

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This was the final day of business for Costa Drugs in south Scranton. The other two stores have already closed.

Other family owned pharmacies have wasted no time trying to lure Costa customers over to their business.

The Costa Drugs sign is already down at its old location on Main Street in Dickson City. A new sign is up telling customers how to contact Rite Aid, the chain pharmacy that bought out Costa Drugs last week.

Bob Stein, who manages Family Pharmacy in Olyphant knows Costa Drugs' run was a success. But, he also knows the struggles of running a small pharmacy.

"There's a lot of competition out there, years ago grocery stores didn't have pharmacies. Department stores have pharmacies, the volume is getting spread apart," Stein said.

That's why Family Pharmacy and two of its local competitors took out ads in the morning paper hoping to draw Costa's old customers. Costa Drugs closing gives them a huge opportunity to grow. An opportunity they said is harder and harder to come by these days.

"We understand that people do like the small nature of our pharmacies and what we have to offer here that some of the chains, due to their size, can't do. So we're just trying to capitalize on the small community atmosphere," Stein added.

DePietro Pharmacy in Dunmore is using another type of advertising to try to lure Costa Drug customers. The owner hung signs outside their store, hoping to attract customers who drive by.

Tom DePietro opened the store two years ago and said he's been growing steadily. He said since Costa announced its closing he's picked up about 30 of its customers.

"To grab an established business, or get customers that were so loyal to them for so long, I'm only 29 years old so I'm hoping they decide to come with me for the next 50 years or until I decide to retire," DePietro said.

Both pharmacies hope the home delivery service they offer will help lure former Costa customers who have relied on that service for years.