10 ideas to improve your store’s appearance


Invest in renovations that pay off with increased sales

In brief:

  • Freshen your pharmacy’s look about every 5 years.1
  • Sales can increase up to 10% in the year following a redesign.
  • Which of the 10 ideas below is the best fit to help your pharmacy increase sales?

If you haven’t updated your pharmacy’s appearance in the past five years, you’re overdue for a makeover. That’s about how often you should revitalize or remodel, according to Chrystopher Owens, McKesson senior manager of retail design.

While the return on that investment depends on many variables, he said, “You’re always going to get a lift in sales when you have something new.”

One estimate says most stores see a significant sales increase in the first year following renovations.1


To achieve this level of sales increases, create a space where people want to visit and enjoy shopping. When you do, customers are likely to shop more often, stay longer, and put more items in their basket.

For a minimal investment, new paint will create a noticeable change. New energy-efficient lighting can not only enhance the view but pay for itself.

When you’re ready for a bigger update, consider these 10 ideas, which can increase sales and produce a positive ROI.

  1. Start outside. “The shopping experience begins in the parking lot,” Owens said. Patients want to see a clean lot that is well lit. Also, look at your windows and ensure they aren’t cluttered.
  2. Rethink your drive-through. “Drive-through technology has come a long way,” Owens said. Patients don’t need to drive up to a window on the side. Now they can drive up to a pneumatic tube in the parking lot where medications are delivered from the store to the patient by a tube.
  3. Create a “decompression zone.” Give store visitors a moment to catch their breath after entering your store. A good practice is to have 7 to 10 feet of clear space in the entry.
  4. Open the aisles. While the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that aisles be 3 feet wide, Owens recommends making aisles at least 4-1/2 feet wide. Shoppers will avoid walking down aisles if they will be too close to other customers. Tip: Try navigating your store in a wheelchair or with a baby stroller to see how these customers experience your store.
  5. Understand common “journeys.” Study how customers typically travel through your store, which is termed “the customer journey.” Assess and redesign your store layout with common journeys in mind. Consider a few “speed bumps” too, displays that encourage customers to slow down and look at products.
  6. Clear the view. Provide easy access to the pharmacy counter. Keep fixtures and displays on the floor to 5 feet or lower.
  7. Put referral items by the pharmacy counter. Place products that the pharmacists might consult with patients about near the pharmacy counter.
  8. Think efficiently. You don’t need a lot of space to fill a lot of prescriptions, Owens said, noting one pharmacy with only 160 square feet.
  9. Use walls well. Walls can be great display spots for high-end products or bulky items, such as durable medical equipment. Like the windows out front, though, don’t clutter the wall space above the fixtures with too many messages.
  10. Work with a designer. Every space is unique. An independent retailer is not a big box or chain that looks identical to the next. For a design that works within your budget and space limitations it is good to get ideas from professional designers; however, do not plan your entire pharmacy remodel off Pinterest or other forms of social media. “Just because you see it someplace doesn’t necessarily mean it will work in your given space,” Owens said. A professional designer can help create the look you want and try to stay within your budget. One warning: If you put used fixtures in a new store, your pharmacy will look as old as the fixtures you use.

As you approach your pharmacy tomorrow morning, view it through the eyes of potential customers. Be honest with yourself about whether it’s conveying the image of an inviting healthcare destination. Even if you aren’t ready to remodel immediately, start taking notes and planning now.

See your store like a customer

Discover how to create a great first impression for your pharmacy in “Is Your Appearance Turning Customers Away?”

Find more ideas for updating your store’s appearance at www.mckessonretaildesign.com and during McKesson ideaShare, July 8–12, 2018, in Las Vegas.

1 “ROI of Store Design — Space Planning and Design,” Christopher Studach, King Retail Solutions, Aug. 15, 2013. LINK