Many national pharmacy organizations, businesses, publications and individuals provide Community Pharmacy Owners many ways to succeed by publishing how-to books, hold forums, seminars and post blogs. However, they rarely mention the critically important physical attributes outside the four walls. Yet, the chains deem them as some of their greatest assets. My observation in no way diminishes those highly important factors inside the four walls, which have been discussed in detail by many in the business.
I was contacted by a pharmacist who had signed a lease for space next to an urgent care center. The pre-built space included more than required. The landlord would not agree to reducing the size. Therefore, the pharmacist owner and another party had decided that the best option was to leave the excess space unfinished in the back of the building. Fortunately, the pharmacist called me for a second opinion. After visiting the site and reviewing the owner’s business model, I agreed that the extra space was not needed. I went to work looking at all options, as that’s what we do. There are many facets in developing the best layout and they must all fit together in the best way possible.
The timing was great since the concrete slab had not been poured, allowing us to locate utilities to fit the layout. With the approval of the landlord and making sure that the architect agreed to changes, I went to work on finding the best layout. With my experience in construction, I know it usually costs much more to expand toward the rear opposed to the side.
The reconfiguration of the layout would allow the pharmacy to sublet the unneeded space as the existing window on the front could be converted to an entry door. The 1,000 square feet would be ideal for a tenant in the health-related field. A three year lease at $20.00 PSF would yield a $60,000 income rather than overhead expenses.
The pharmacist approved our layout and the back-up CAD drawings were submitted to the architect and the pharmacy opened in a few months. The original layout is shown above our more detailed layout. It also included many flaws far beyond wasting space. Our vast experience in hundreds of pharmacies has taught us to create a layout that works for you and not against you.
Planning a new pharmacy can be overwhelming, so here is information to help solve the biggest problems you may encounter when opening a new pharmacy or relocating an existing one.
While no single layout will suit every pharmacy, there are certain layout and design concepts that should apply to most retail pharmacies. Here are ten tips for improving your pharmacy layout and design: