Maximizing Creative Space With an Open Pharmacy Floor Plan

Posted by Robert Walthall on Wed, Mar, 29, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Pharmacy WorkflowCreating a pharmacy floor plan involves several decisions you'll have to make in advance regarding its implementation into your store design. You basically have four choices when it comes to a pharmacy floor plan:

  • Traditional or grid floor plan
  • Blended or combination floor plan
  • Open flow floor plan
  • A combination of two or more of the above

Most drugstores out there, especially the larger-sized chain or big-box pharmacies, incorporate the traditional pharmacy floor plan into their store design, and this is the one with which drugstore patrons are most familiar. It involves the installation of long runs of shelving, similar to what you'd expect to see in the center area of a grocery store. Typically, gondola shelves are used here, with end caps utilized at the ends of some of these shelving runs to break things up. These end caps are ideal for displaying seasonal or holiday items or other hot-selling products.

What's Best For You

Traditional floor plans work well in pharmacies that are inventory intensive – that carry lots of products that need to be displayed on shelves – and the placement of the shelves can be used to create aisles that customers will naturally follow through the merchandising area on their way back to the prescription drop-off area.

For smaller stores, the creation of a loop or “racetrack” floor plan is done by placing much of your merchandising inventory on wall-mounted fixtures that incorporate shelves, cupboards, hangers and a variety of either slat wall or grid wall panels that can support a great array of display accessories. This type of floor plan is by far the easiest setup for establishing a predetermined customer footpath throughout the store. Customers are naturally led from one section of the store to the next as they follow the different wall displays and meander toward the back of the store where the prescription area is located.

Smaller pharmacies have also found success incorporating an open flow floor plan, which is something much less regimented than the two floor plans previously discussed. The open pharmacy floor plan is best suited for small specialty stores, boutiques and apothecary-type drugstores. Pharmacies utilizing the open floor plan are a far cry from a typical-looking drugstore, which is part of what gives them a certain draw. You could expect to see this type of store in upscale shopping areas catering to upscale customers with an eye for high quality and a unique shopping experience.

Benefits of the Open Flow Floor Plan

A major highlight of the open floor plan and the reason it's become popular with high-end specialty stores is that it allows for maximum creativity in product display and can be quickly and easily altered in order to keep things looking new and fresh. It encourages customers to browse as items are put together in logical groupings and displays are placed at different angles, causing shoppers to slow down to absorb the unique placements and groupings. Lines of sight remain open in this type of arrangement with clear visibility throughout the store. Judicious use of tasteful signage highlighting unique product groupings and specialty displays can work in conjunction with accent colors leading shoppers into specific merchandising areas.

For larger pharmacies, the traditional floor plan is a good choice for displaying lots of inventory on shelves. This isn't to say that a portion of your merchandising area can't be dedicated to an open floor plan say, for example, in your gift area. If you have the floor space available, combining more than one specific floor plan into your store design can be a viable option.

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Topics: Pharmacy floor plan