Designing an Independent Pharmacy: 3 Elements for Safety, Comfort, and Convenience

Independent pharmacies are uncommon in many communities because chain stores frequently have better prices and are more convenient. To give chain stores a run for their money, there are different design features you should incorporate to attract and retain customers.

Configure a Drive-Thru Window

Drive-thru windows for pharmacies are not only a good option for convenience, but they can be a safety feature if you want to extend your operating hours. To enhance security of the drive-thru, you should incorporate features like those that banks use. Some bank drive-thru windows limit contact between the customer and teller. Verbal communication may be done through a speaker, and any physical transactions, such as deposit slips or money, are funneled through a small slot. This allows customers more access, especially at times that are traditionally unsafe, while minmizing the chance of anyone being able to enter the premises through a side window.

Push Back the Pharmacy Counter

Independently-owned pharmacies often have the counter pushed far back into the property. This can be a safety feature, because it forces anyone who makes contact with the pharmacy to walk further into the store and be seen on camera, but it also works well as a marketing tool. Of course, you want customers to not only drop off and pick up prescriptions, but you want them to pass by items on the shelf and make impulse purchases. You can be strategic about your design and what you want people to buy. For instance, if the pharmacy counter is located in the back and pushed to the right or left side, the best-selling products should be located on aisles customers will likely encounter as they make their way to the pharmacy.

Make a Suitable Waiting Area

As an independent pharmacy, you have one major advantage over competitors. Since prescriptions are often filled faster here than at chain stores, you want customers to wait and be comfortable. To achieve comfort, you need to incorporate a nice waiting area into your design. The waiting area should have comfortable seats and possibly a water fountain or dispenser. You should have the waiting area in full view of the pharmacy counter, but with enough space to respect customer confidentiality. A separate consultation area or booth is also a nice touch so customers will feel comfortable speaking with the pharmacist about sensitive issues without being in full view of people in the waiting area or other customers overhearing the conversation.

Independent pharmacies can win over customers with faster and more personalized service. The design elements of your business can give you more of a competitive edge. Contact a business that can help you with pharmacy store design planning for more information.