Revamping your premises often involves more than a lick of paint. But the advantages are numerous, says Numark’s marketing co-ordinator – retail, Cathy Crossthwaite

In recent years, community pharmacy has become much more hands-on by getting involved in clinical services and working more closely with GPs and other healthcare professionals. It has also risen to the forefront of health and beauty retail, with more customers visiting a pharmacy for their everyday items rather than a supermarket as they appreciate a pharmacist’s expert advice.

For these reasons – as well as rising to the high standards set by your competitors – it is important for customers to feel as though they are walking into a welcoming and professional healthcare environment when they enter your pharmacy.

A refit can help ensure that the needs and wants of your customers are met. Not only can you dazzle them with a fresh look but you can also increase your efficiency and profitability with stylish and durable fittings, and a well-organised dispensary.

A good pharmacy refit could provide you with a number of benefits:

Enhance your brand identity

A shopper’s decision to either enter a pharmacy or walk by is primarily determined by their first impression of the shopfront.
A well-presented and fresh display is much more likely to attract people to go inside.

A common view of independent pharmacies is that they are often untidy and cluttered spaces with scruffy fascia signs
and dusty windows — a refit can help break that stereotype.

Updating your fixtures and fittings inside and outside your
store will help create a refreshing and modern space.

Maximise customer and flow within store

Believe it or not, you can influence the direction your customers move in upon entering your pharmacy based on the strategic placement of elements, such as the counter, pharmacy doors and promotional bays.

To get an idea of the natural path through your store, put yourself in the shoes of
your customers and take a look at your pharmacy from the outside. Ask yourself a number of questions:

• What is the first thing you see as you enter the pharmacy? Can you see the prescriptions counter? (This is the fundamental part of your business and it is vital that it is visible from the point
of entry.)

• What would be the typical route for customers walking through my pharmacy? Can I make more of this route, encouraging them to walk round the shop floor before arriving at the prescriptions counter?

• Are my categories well signposted and
can my customers easily navigate the store to get to the products they want?

Asking these questions will help you see where improvements can be made and how you can encourage your customers to divert to all areas of the pharmacy.

Positioning promotional bays along the route to the prescriptions counter can encourage customers to make a product pit stop. It is also important to think about where your waiting area is. Face the seats out towards your products and point of sale and customers will glance across the room while waiting — and may spot something of interest to them.

A good pharmacy refit can mean a store layout that works its hardest to help you achieve your targets. Refit experts will see the natural stopping points simply by looking at your shop floor. They will work with you to design your pharmacy in a way that encourages customers to travel the floor space on their way to the counter
unit. Implementing new shop-floor signage will also allow customers to easily navigate the area without the necessity of your assistance.

Improve product display and maximise sales of GSL and OTC medicines

Products that are sitting on dusty shelves with limited point of sale and sticky spots where the shampoo bottle has leaked do
not appeal to customers and will turn them away from a potential purchase.

It is imperative that your retail standards match those of your overall pharmaceutical service. A pharmacy refit can provide you with top-of-the-range shelving units and LED lighting to really show off your products on the shelf. All that is required from you is a quick wipe once a week to keep the shelves spotless and free of dust.

Improve your workflow and efficiency

A successful refit isn’t solely focused on the shop floor. The layout of your pharmacy needs to work for you and your customers.
A more efficient space promotes a more streamlined business performance.

• Your dispensary: You need to be able to locate prescription items quickly and efficiently to decrease the waiting time of your customers while ensuring undisputable accuracy. A pharmacy refit can provide you with the most up-to-date dispensary fittings and drawers with an efficient floorplan to increase your level
of service. Clever use of space means more products taking up less valuable floor area.

• Your consultation room: The room needs to be clean and private, located in a quiet area of the pharmacy with the appropriate fixtures and fittings to allow you to efficiently examine a patient. Without a private consultation room, there are many missed opportunities – such as vaccinations and healthcare services – that can really help you raise your level of service and customer care.

• Your shop floor: The space needs to maximise profitability and be well laid out to reduce not only out-of-stocks but also the time spent by staff filling shelves. Category signage should be easily transportable for movements of shelf displays within store and shelving should be simple to put together and easily adjusted to avoid long periods of time dismantling and reinstalling during
a planogram change.

Your pharmacy exterior: The front of the pharmacy is your advert to potential customers, which is why it is of the highest importance that you hit the nail on the head with your design. A refit can help you enhance your brand identity to reflect the overall values of your business.

Your pharmacy should be a reflection of how you run your service. It should project your professionalism while portraying a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for your customers to come in seeking help and advice. Whether your pharmacy is outdated and in need of a full revamp or just needs a little TLC, a refit is a great way to inject some life back into it and delight your customers with something new and exciting.

Cathy Crossthwaite is Numark’s marketing co-ordinator – retail

For more information or to discuss becoming
a Numark member call Cathy Crossthwaite
0800 783 5709.