How to enhance your pharmacy’s curb appeal

Check your pharmacy’s curb appeal

Create an inviting store exterior to bring in more customers

In brief:

  • Shoppers will turn away if a retail store looks dirty, outdated or uninviting
  • Exterior signs are an important element of your pharmacy marketing
  • Schedule regular cleaning and maintenance for outside the pharmacy
  • Clear clutter from the windows and entrance for an inviting first impression

Curb appeal matters, not just for homes but for retail stores.

No matter how good your pharmacy’s customer service is, a poor exterior can turn away two-thirds of shoppers.1

  The top reasons potential customers will never step inside a store:

If the store looks dirty or outdated.


“The shopping experience begins in the parking lot,” said Chrystopher Owens, senior manager of retail design for Health Mart® Operations.

Take a fresh look at how prospective customers see your pharmacy.

Snap photos of your storefront and competitors’ to compare the views. Read your online reviews. Shoppers do.

Clean, uncluttered windows invite passersby into your pharmacy.

Clean, uncluttered windows invite passersby into your pharmacy.

Train your eyes to notice common problems you may be overlooking, from top to bottom, such as faded awnings or cigarette butts littering the corner by your front door.

Check the signs

Exterior signs are marketing that works for your business 24/7, Owens notes. Check your signs with these questions:

  • Are signs clear? Do exterior signs clearly and consistently point patients to your business? Or, for example, does a sign at the front of the strip mall say one thing, such as “Drugs” and the sign in front of your business another, like “Pharmacy”? Are they easy to read from whichever way most customers will approach, driving or walking? If you own the building, would signs on side walls help folks find you?
  • Are they working well? Exterior signs take a constant beating from the weather, so schedule annual maintenance. Check the wiring, timer and any photo cells.Clean the exterior of the signs regularly and remove bird or wasp nests.

    Even with regular maintenance, outdoor acrylic signs typically last five years, Owens said. Plan for replacement to keep your pharmacy’s appearance fresh.

  • Are there enough? If your pharmacy is located within another building, such as a clinic, do specific wayfinding signs easily direct people to you? Would an addition below your store name, such as “Drive Thru,” drive more traffic to your store?

Make a clean sweep

Spring is a natural time to freshen the outside appearance of your pharmacy. Consider whether it’s time to:

  • Pressure wash the sidewalk. Deep cleaning can make a dramatic difference.
  • Trim the vegetation or plant new. Winning a landscaping and beautification award from your local community will bring added attention to your location.
  • Apply fresh paint and restripe the parking lot. Several factors affect how long exterior paint holds up, but if it’s been more than five years since your pharmacy’s last paint job, start planning for a fresh coat.

Include the parking lot, sidewalk, doors and windows in staff members’ regular cleaning duties.

Create a warm welcome

People are used to shopping in an environment where the displays are very controlled, such as a shopping mall. Plaster too many ads on your windows, and you’ll create a cluttered appearance.

Shoppers need a decompression zone as they enter a store, so don’t bombard them with messages, Owens recommends.

What do you expect customers to notice as they walk up to your business? If your windows are a collage of advertisements, customers aren’t going to read any of them.


  • Displays are up to date. Santa should be long gone by spring. Change window art and displays frequently to catch attention.
  • The view is inviting. Passersby should be able to look through clean windows and see staff members who are happy, busy and welcoming.

Local ordinances and leasing rather than owning a location may limit what you can do with the appearance of your pharmacy. Check the details before you sign contracts.

To take great care of patients in your pharmacy, first they must come through that front door. Remove any doubt that they are entering a well-run pharmacy by paying attention to the exterior too.

1 “Survey Details Importance of a Store’s External Appearance,” Marianne Wilson, Change Store Age, June 20, 2011. LINK