Often, when a pharmacy is being built or remodeled, the pharmacy design doesn't take into account the importance of shelving and other fixtures at the beginning stages of the project. Shelves are a major part of your pharmacy design configuration, and by leaving them as an afterthought to be fit in at the end of a build, you end up short-changing yourself as to their total functionality potential. Consider these examples:
- A well-designed and properly placed shelf configuration can help you create a foot traffic path throughout your store's merchandising area that will gently urge customers to travel a certain way as they approach the pharmacy counter to drop off their prescriptions. Ideally, as they travel through the retail area, they'll have the advantage of viewing all the various major store departments. Large, well-designed signs will help aid in this exercise. This needs to be planned out in advance, making sure the right type and amount of shelving is available to pull this off. Because of this, your shelving requirements and the necessary budget to accomplish what you propose needs to be dealt with early on in your pharmacy build or remodel.
- Having the proper shelving setup will help you control your inventory, both in the front and back ends of the pharmacy, and help curtail incidents of shrinkage and loss. Shoplifting is a universal problem for most retailers, and one solution to this problem is building aisles that dead end, so customers are required to turn around and come back out into a centralized area that can be monitored easily by a combination of cameras and staff members. Shelves that are well-organized also make it easier to tell what's been removed or disturbed, which is especially useful in the back area stockroom where dishonest employees may be tempted to remove stocked items.
- Shelving and fixtures in the rear-end drug storage and dispensing areas of your store are important from the security perspective of keeping controlled substances safe and secure, including being locked up when not in use and after hours. You also need to adhere to new, more restrictive regulations regarding the privacy of patient files and other patient medical information. Special locking shelves and cabinets should be budgeted for and installed as well as work station shelving that allows for efficient and easy access to needed supplies for technicians completing their various required tasks.
- Planning in advance for your shelving design and installation is also important in that it can help avoid later construction problems, such as inadvertently blocking an electrical outlet, a fire alarm pull station or an emergency exit door. The use of specifically placed shelves can also save on some construction costs by their utilization as temporary walls, removing the need to build a permanent wall in that location.
Pharmacy shelving, although sometimes regarded as an afterthought by some builders, is one of the most important aspects of pharmacy design. Shelves are responsible for so much more than simply giving you display space for your products, although they must be efficient at doing this, too. Modern shelving is available in so many more designs, colors, materials and configuration combinations that you'll want to take some time deciding exactly what type of shopping environment you want to create for your customers and how best to accomplish this.
Consider your store's shelving early on in your building or remodeling project and earmark the necessary budget to do it right. You'll be glad to have done it that way and happier with the end result.