There's so much involved in interior drugstore design that it's tough to tell what's most important, but the jumping off or starting point will always revolve around your chosen pharmacy floor plan. Until the floor plan is decided on, you won't be able to make logical choices regarding the shelving and other fixtures you plan to incorporate into your interior design, and shelving and fixtures are something you should definitely budget for in the early stages of a pharmacy build or remodel.
Benefits of a Grid Pharmacy Floor Plan
There are several types of floor plans that can work well in pharmacies, although the one you're probably most familiar with and customers are most comfortable with is the grid or traditional pharmacy floor plan. This is the setup most larger pharmacies use and, with long rows of parallel shelving placed in the center of the store, it's sometimes referred to as the “bowling alley” floor plan.
The grid floor plan has numerous benefits, including:
- Potential for low-cost installation. Discount pharmacies have the option of combining low-cost flooring and inexpensive metal shelving to convey a low-price image to customers.
- Customer familiarity is both a plus and a minus with the grid floor plan. It has a tendency to make customers feel comfortable because this is a floor plan they're most used to, in both pharmacies and grocery stores. It also, however, prompts shoppers to dash through their shopping experience, quickly picking up just what they need without taking the time to slow down and browse through the different displays. This tendency can be counteracted in a variety of ways.
- Grid floor plans make maximum use of available floor space and provide maximum exposure for merchandise. It's especially useful in stores where there's a great deal of inventory that's best displayed on shelves.
- Security can be simplified with a grid floor plan, especially if the shelving is low enough to see over and some of the aisles created by the shelving runs end on perimeter walls, forcing traffic to turn around and return to a centralized area that's easy for staff to observe.
- This type of floor plan makes cleaning easy.
Disadvantages of the Grid Style Floor Plan
The disadvantages of this type of floor plan are few and can be overcome by some creative applications to your store's design. The grid setup may be plain looking and uninteresting, with all the shelves looking just like each other and the aisles created by the shelves long, straight and squared off with little visual attraction.
Utilizing some of the new styles of gondola shelves that are rounded off and appear to be in motion will help make things look more interesting in some store sections. Madix makes a line of convex/radius gondola shelving that basically breaks all of the traditional rules of pharmacy shelving. Another trick you can use to spice things up is to shorten up your gondola runs and have the aisle end on a center aisle opposite another shelving run rather than continuing the initial shelf run. This staggering of shelving installations is further enhanced by the use of occasional end caps.
Rushed shopping and limited browsing behavior can be altered by installing eye-catching, colorful, interesting displays that cause customers to slow down and take a look.
Just because you decide to incorporate a grid floor plan for your store doesn't mean that parts of your merchandising area can't embrace a free flow plan in certain sections where things are displayed in groups on fixtures other than straight shelving. This combination approach gives you additional creative license.