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Landmark drug store closes in Lisbon

Morning Journal/Patti Schaeffer Morgan’s Drug Store, on the square in Lisbon, closed its doors on Tuesday.

LISBON — Morgan’s Drug Store, a fixture in downtown Lisbon since 1915, has closed its doors.

The local landmark closed for good at the end of the business on Tuesday, and customer records have been transferred to the Rite Aid drug store located on state Route 45 north of town, where prescriptions can be filled starting today. Signs are to be posted at Morgan’s directing customers to Rite Aid, where staff there will be available to answer any questions.

“They will have everything for people who need to fill their prescriptions,” said Kevin Snyder, who purchased Morgan’s in 1982 with his brother, Steve, both of whom are pharmacists.

The Snyder family grew up and still live in Lisbon, so the decision to sell the business to Rite Aid was a difficult one but necessary because they were receiving smaller and smaller payments from private and government insurers for filling prescriptions.

“It’s just financially impossible to continue because of the continued reductions in reimbursements … It was down to the point where it’s just not sustainable,” Kevin Snyder said.

He said they had tried to ride it out in the hopes their financial fortunes would turn around but that was not the case. “The environment (for all drug stores) is just really difficult,” Snyder said. “It’s just one of those things … I just don’t see any way out of it.”

The Snyders also owned and operated a small drug store in Orwell in southern Ashtabula County, which closed in December after Rite Aid purchased its inventory and client list. “I made attempts to sell (both stores) to an independent but to no avail because they would be in the same situation,” Snyder said. “There aren’t a whole lot of independents left and this is why.”

Discount Drug Mart purchased property near Rite Aid and is expected to break ground on a store this year. “That’s another factor but I don’t know we would have even been able to” hang in there until DDM opened, he said.

Located on East Lincoln Way in the middle of town, the drug store was founded in 1915 by William Morgan, and the Snyders purchased it from his son, William Morgan Jr.

There were eight people employed at Morgan’s — Snyder, pharmacist Don Kibler and six clerks. Snyder said Rite Aid was working to find positions for their staff.

“I just want to say my brother and our families are so grateful for the people who have been so loyal to us and the people who worked with us,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience to be in Lisbon and to be able to help people all these years … We had a lot of good years here, a lot of good years, and we had a lot of good times.”

Now that the sale has gone through, Snyder said they can begin trying to sell the building.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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