The Drug Store Experience

We're living in an era with a rapidly aging majority, and a culture that has become increasingly dependent on medical science and pharmaceutical support. Here in the U.S., we're bombarded with hundreds of embedded messages, ads, commercials for drugs promising us a stronger, healthier, more virile, low-risk, pain-free experience.

As prescription and OTC drugs play an increasing role in our lives, the corner drug store has become a thing of the past. Today, we purchase drugs where we buy our groceries. We shop for groceries, toiletries, even housewares where we buy our drugs, drop off our photos and even dry cleaning. As self-medication has become (for better or worse) a ritual in many American families, drugstores have taken on an entirely new role...a role of convenience. Perhaps this is why, Rite Aid Drug Stores is reengineering its brick and mortar experience.

According to a recent DDI Magazine article, the 40+ year old drug store veteran is in the process of launching a dynamic new store design. The experience, dubbed the Customer World" design "highlights the importance of the pharmacy" as a focal point of the stores. Instead of being sequestered in the back, the pharmacy areas have been relocated - front and center. They've also been designed to serve as a more intimate setting, featuring more comfortable waiting areas and private consultation areas.

In addition to repositioning the pharmacy, the new Rite Aid stores will feature wider aisles, higher ceilings, brigher and more modern environments. Reengineering product placement and store traffic has been a focus of the store redesign, as well. According to the article, "Customers can walk 'around the world,' or around the perimeter of the store, which showcases a wider selection of products." Improved departmental signs and visual cues have also been introduced to make it easier for customers to find products. Rite Aid plans to launch the design in 80 new or relocated stores and 200 remodeled stores. In the next five years, the chain plans 800 to 1,000 new and relocated stores.

All this seems to be a direct compliment to Rite Aid's Tag line, "With Us, It's Personal." Sounds nice - we'll see!

By the by....DDI web site has some terrific articles. A real gem, however is DDI's Retail Design Diva Blog . Check it out for really great brick and mortar experience reads! Thanks DDI.

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LEIGH DURST

LEIGH DURST
I’m Leigh Durst, a 20 year veteran in business, operations, customer strategy, ecommerce, digital & social media and marketing. Simply put, I’m a strategist that helps companies (start-up to blue chip) achieve business shift, create more compelling online and offline experiences. I also write, speak and teach about experience design and next-generation business. I’m a futurist, visionary, strategist, doer and connector with a passion for people and helping others. When I’m not on the road, you’ll find me in the San Francisco bay area, working, beaching it and hanging out with my family and dog.

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