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Easton, PA--Although a smattering of operators throughout the country have experienced mixed success with drive through concepts, Dameon Patterson seems to have found the perfect draw.
At his Easton, Pa. based Tobacco Express location, motorists can buy cartons or packs of cigarettes, cigars, even pipes, from behind the wheel. Ninety-eight percent of his customers use the drive-up window.
"A majority of people basically just want to be in a rush to do their thing," Patterson told the Pennsylvania Express-Times. "It's so simple to really just drive up and get what you need."
Supervisor Scott Wilkinson said the Easton shop, owned by Square One Markets, has been open for three years. Last year, the company's second Lehigh Valley drive-through tobacco shop opened in Northampton.
The biggest sellers are Marlboro and Newport cigarettes, Wilkinson said. But for people trying to kick the habit, the store carries natural herb cigarettes, too. The store stocks about 300 different brands and includes a humidor for cigars.
Eventually, Tobacco Express is getting a Pennsylvania Lottery machine, but don't expect drive-through lottery sales. "I can see somebody trying to buy 20 lottery tickets" at the drive-through, Wilkinson said. "They'll have to walk inside to buy them."