Store Layout and Design
Traditional Medical store Vs. Med-Plus
In most developed countries, the drug stores are housed within bigger shops like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy etc. where there’s separation of prescription medicines and Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs. OTC drugs can be purchased without prescription whereas medicines like antibiotics require prescription and is issued only upon prescription. In India, both OTC and prescription medicines are sold at pharmacy shops (also called Medical Shop or Medical Store in India) with zero to little control over prescription medicines.
The pharmacy may stock around 10,000 to 15,000 SKU and only less than 5% pharmacy shops are computerized for inventory. The pharmacy industry is projected to grow at the rate of 15% and the organized sector within pharmaceutical retail will grow at 25%. Many new pharmacy shops like Med-Plus, Apollo, Family Pharma etc. have introduced supplementary services besides selling drugs.
They have 24 hour pharmacy, free reminder services, free health camps, medication tips, discounts and home delivery etc.
These pharmacy chains analyze supply & demand closely and assess competition to stay ahead in the game. They also have promotional activities and various marketing campaigns to engage the customers. In India, the layout of pharmacy (or a drug store) is primarily important for identification and retrieval of medicines within the store. In this assignment, we will analyze and assess the different store layouts within Pharmacy shops and their perceived opinions from customers, pharmacists and doctors. 2. Objective of Layout & Design
i. Optimal utilization of space within pharmacy shop for effective presentations ii. High profits due to increased sales as well as reducing the selling expenses to a minimum iii. Easy identification and retrieval of medicines and drugs using multi levels to provide sense and variety usage in an effective manner iv. Provide professional appearance of pharmacy shop to create balance between the sales and shopping space available. v. Space for entrance of incoming goods, stocking and seating for employees 3. Facility and Equipment
A pharmacy’s physical facility and equipment are determined by the services delivered inside the pharmaceutical shop and the size of the shop. A. Facility
There are variations in the size of floor space for traditional unorganized pharmacies or organized pharmacy chains or pharmacy associated with hospitals. For small pharmacies, usually with one or two pharmacists, only one room is usually required for dispensing and administrative services. When sterile products are to be prepared there should be separate room or area for such work. Hospitals with 200 or more beds, there should be a separate area for in-patient services and unit dose dispensing, out-patient services, an office for the chief pharmacist, a compounding, pre-packing and labeling room, a store room, sterile product and IV admixture room. A separate area for drug information services and space assigned on various nursing units for unit dose drug administration and clinical pharmacy service is also required for in-hospital pharmacy shops.
The equipment found within pharmacy shop is determined by the services offered by the shop. These are mostly: i. Drug Stock Cabinets
ii. Medicines Cupboards
iii. Refrigerator for cold storage
iv. Medicines, drugs, syringes etc.
v. Safe drawer for narcotic drugs (select drug stores)
vi. Office Desk Space for books, receipts and phone
vii. Dispensing Window
viii. Ortho related equipment like walking stick, wheel chairs etc. 4. Layout and Design
The store layout and design is intended to guide the customer mutely about where they want to go and in turn exposing them to the additional offerings of the store. It can act as a meaningful tool for communication between the retailer and the customer if it is designed in a proper way. In order to design a good store layout, the designers have to balance objectives which are basically conflicting in nature. For instance, the layout should be such that it should tempt the customers to move around the store to purchase more than they have originally planned however if it is too complex, the customers may find it difficult to locate their required stuff and hence decide against patronizing the store. There are two parts to the design and layout of a store – store exterior and store interior.
The objectives of these two categories serve their own purpose for the retailer. The purpose of store exterior would be using window displays, door types, walkways, store entrance, size and color of the building and store and prevention of theft. The store interior design focuses more on the display methods used, the signage to make it easy for the customers and visual merchandising to get additional business. The factors which are taken into consideration in designing the store layout in general and which affect the same to a great deal be as follows Total space availability to design the layout of the store
Types of products and services offered by the store, which in our case is drugs The number of departments the store needs to be divided into The volume and variety ratio in the carried product line
The mode of operation used
The type of movements required within the store like locating, picking, storing, etc. Average number of customers visiting the store on a day to day basis What is the inventory level to be kept
Degree or level of changes in operations on a regular basis
A. Traditional Medical Stores
Customers with specific drug requirements and with prescriptions prefer to go to pharmacy shops that are situated closer to the doctor’s offices or outside hospitals are typically traditional medical stores. They usually have an arrangement with the doctors where doctors recommend medicines and brands stocked by the pharmacist and in-turn the doctors get commissions from the pharmacists. These shops are typically small to medium sized shops 150 to 300 square feet room with single window used for dispensing the medicines to the customers. The front portion below the dispensing table is usually covered with glass to showcase medicated oils, herbal shampoos, condoms, beauty products, moisturizers etc.
These commodities are typically branded products from well-known pharmaceutical companies or selling beauty products like Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Durex, Himalaya Shampoos, and Nivea etc. The room houses a refrigerator of 300 to 400 Liters to accommodate injections, vaccinations or medicines which must be kept in strict temperature control. The sides of the room contain boxes to store tablets, capsules, ointments and syrups. Traditional Medical stores, being small shops, prefer to open the boxes and store the tablet strips in alphabetically numbered boxes. These stores do not have very good lighting or aesthetically appealing ambience. B. Hospital Pharmacy
The number of pharmacists required for a hospital is calculated on the basis of workload, like the number of prescription received and dispensed number of beds available. For a very small hospital minimum of 3 pharmacists are required. As the number of beds increase, the number of pharmacists also increases. Many hospitals are 24×7 operations with beds for admitting patients (In-Patients i.e. IP) along with visiting patients (Out-Patients i.e. OP). Hospital pharmacies carry more sophisticated medicines and equipment. The hospital’s pharmacy is designed in such a manner to allow patients and visitors to move through the passage and purchase drugs on their way out. The linear layout gives an impression of assembly line where the helpers take the prescriptions from the visitors, pick medicines from the storage boxes and pass it to another person for computerized or manual billing. Hospital pharmacies are very professionally maintained with proper lighting within the shop. Since the hospital pharmacy shop is primarily for the in-patients or out-patients, they do not pay much attention on aesthetics of the shop. The focus is primarily to attend to as many customers as possible by reducing their waiting time. C. Med-Plus
Medplus pharmacy stores, though small stores in comparison to CVS or Walgreens, they have mixed format where the customers can view products for non-medicinal use like diapers, baby products, beauty products etc. The store is maintained clean and uncluttered with separate shelves for medical products and general merchandise. The total area of Medplus pharmacy varies from 200 square feet to 450 square feet. There’s also set of chairs for elderly, customers to sit if there’s queue or for patients who cannot stand for long. The layout is spaced out sparsely for the pharmacist to perform frequent inspection on the current stock. Many Medplus stores also have separate entry for incoming stocks from their depots. This is in contrast to the traditional medical shops where the small entrance is used and can cause inconvenience to the customers waiting for medicines.
The organized pharmacy chains like Medplus, Trust and Family Pharma have good visual presentation, pleasing colors inside the shop with lot of attention to sophistication. The medicines are also maintained in proper boxes. The lighting of the shop is bright and pleasing. The color within the pharmacy store is also pleasant. Amongst many unorganized medical shops, the organized pharmacy stores tend to create success in the clutter of customer’s mind by demonstrating cleanliness, well-furnished store and trust.
A. Pharmacist’s Viewpoint
In India, with most of the Pharmacy shops being small, unorganized and little marketing focus; they tend to follow the layout of Traditional Medical Store. There are many pharmacists who prefer the Vastushastra-way to design the layout of the shop rather than biasing the layout decisions on visual appeal to customers. This is standard layout as per Vastushastra:
B. Customers’ viewpoint
Now-a-day’s customers prefer to visit Pharmacy shops for a wide range of requirements. It ranges from basic medicinal needs like medicines, injections, ointments etc. to beauty products like shampoo, lipstick, nail polish etc. to baby products like diapers, baby nutrition etc. to equipment like wheel chairs, Ortho products etc. to electronic gadgets assisting in measuring diabetic sugar, Blood Pressure, Heartbeat monitor etc. However, unlike pharmacy retail stores like CVS, Walgreens etc. big pharmacy shops
are rare in India. Customers want wide range of products as indicated earlier and also view variety of OTC drugs to choose from. Himalaya Herbals have the store layout where the consumers can go around the store and be able to pick the right product for themselves. Customers feel contended because they can pick the product from the shelf, assess the need and use of the product along with price before making the purchase.
C. Doctor’s viewpoint
For a doctor, a pharmacy shop is where medicines and medical equipment are sold. The pharmacist must be knowledgeable to recognize the needs of customer and fulfill the requirements. Doctors have restrained viewpoint on the layout of a store besides maintaining a good library of drugs and injections. So, the layout should be conducive for easy identification and retrieval of medicines from the shelves. The shelves must be easily accessible so that the pharmacist can perform routine checks to know the supply and expiry dates. 6. Conclusion
Medicines, just like insurance, is an undesired commodity that consumers are required to buy. Lately, pharmaceutical shops are also used by consumers to purchase diapers, baby products, deodorants, derma products, condoms and chocolates etc. As the pharmaceutical shops sell more and more of non-medicinal commodities, it becomes important to retailer to urge the consumer to make impulsive purchases. Thus, it becomes important to layout the store in such a manner that customers can navigate through the store and pick merchandise for utilitarian needs and the store positions related products in such a manner that the consumer conspicuously purchases related products as well. Thus, the older style of design which has a linear layout both in case of traditional and med-plus stores is not effective in the current competitive market. This typical linear layout which stretches along the rear or the side walls where in prescriptions at one end of a long counter and out prescriptions at the other end gives approximately an assembly line idea. A more contemporary design would be one which reflects a modern kitchen concept which has work islands in the middle of the store.
Cite this Drug Store Layout
Drug Store Layout. (2016, May 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/drug-store-layout/