Your pharmacy should run like a well-oiled machine — both the front and the back end! If customer are building up and your staff feels like they're running around disorganized, then something needs to change. Here are some ways to increase your pharmacy's efficiency by altering the layout.
1. Clear space around the back of the pharmacy counter.
There should be a distinct space behind the pharmacy counter where the pharmacist or a tech can stand and converse with customers. Consider putting a chair in this area and lowering the counter so the pharmacist can be comfortable while doing this. If you have a lot of older patients, you may also want to put a bench or seat on the customer-facing side of the counter. This will save the pharmacist from having to come around the counter and help the patients find space to sit.
2. Set your aisles up on a counterclockwise direction.
Gone are the days of haphazard aisles. A better layout to keep people moving well through the store is to arrange all essentials in a big U-shape. This works well in smaller stores, especially. In the U-shape, include medications, basic food items, and other items that customers buy on a regular basis. Place just a couple of aisles inside the U with less common items, like seasonal goods and toys. Arrange the space so customers move through the U in a counterclockwise direction; this makes it easier to remove things from the shelves with their right hands.
3. Place benches throughout the store.
Placing benches through the store gives older customers a place to rest so they don't just linger in the middle of the aisle and hold up other customers. Benches are also a good place for people to pull off and sit as they read labels on certain products or look up reviews for items on their phones. If placing benches throughout the store does not work with your layout, consider creating a little lounge area to one end of the store instead. You could even put a single-cup coffee maker and water cooler there to welcome customers.
Keeping customers moving through the store quickly should be your top priority. After all, customers "stop by" the pharmacy. They don't stop in with the intention of spending an hour there! If you can make the experience fast and efficient for them, they will keep returning. For more information, reach out to a professional who can help you with a new pharmacy design.