Think about space and design in your pharmacy

John Koot, Managing Director, Willach Australia

Failing to do so will lose your business customers, says expert

Pharmacy owners are not maximising the design of the work environment, Willach Australia’s managing director John Koot told delegates at the Pharmacy Connect conference this year.

A global survey of 14,000 shoppers found that only 33% of purchase decisions in pharmacies are made in store, compared with 70% of purchase decisions overall.

Koot chalked this up to bad customer experience.

“You cannot have a good experience in a bad environment. We need to fix the environment,” he told delegates.

He cited Dan Greenfield, co-founder of Health Space Design, who said: “Almost instantly your patients look around and make a judgement call about your quality of care.”

“Look at the space in your pharmacy. Move people along at the scripts counter,” Koot suggested.

He explained common mistakes made in pharmacy design, including:

  • Having a second dispensary bench that acts as a barrier, shutting patients out from talking to the pharmacist; and,
  • Shutting off the dispensary space behind a tall shelf full of products, again preventing the patient from consulting with the pharmacist.

“Open spaces, everything in your store should scream ‘health’,” says Koot.

“Also, train your staff, then position them to be able to use that training.”

He explained that many pharmacy owners train their staff and then employ them in areas of the store where they don’t actually get to use their skill set.

Koot said owners can do better and there is an opportunity to create a patient-focused environment.

“I believe pharmacy is absolutely perfectly positioned for personalised service,” he concluded.

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