CHICAGO -- Pharmacy is expected to be an integral part of two different retail formats in the year 2000, said two retail design firms.
Both of these formats were featured at Concept 2000, an exhibit showing stores of the future, presented at the Store Fixturing Show here April 21 to 23.
One format is a supermarket; the other is a "wellness store."
Supermarkets in the year 2000 definitely will include pharmacies, said Gary Lind, a partner at Arnold Ward Studios, New Hyde Park, N.Y., which designed the futuristic supermarket.
Supermarket pharmacies of the future will provide the same services as today, but computer technology will free pharmacists to help their customers more easily, said Lind.
"Pharmacists are still going to be filling prescriptions, but there will be more computerization," added Arnold Ward, another partner in the design firm.
While the supermarket model at the show did not include the pharmacy because of space constraints, the company is more than familiar with pharmacy operations, having designed Price Chopper's superstore in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
One feature of the Price Chopper pharmacy, said Lind, is its visibility. The department can be seen from any point in the 78,000-square-foot food store thanks to illuminated graphics and its"sweeping curvature" design.
That pharmacy also includes a waiting area with custom fixturing, said Lind. The other format with a pharmacy featured at Concept 2000 was a wellness store.
"We're developing a one-stop-shopping process that has everything to do with wellness," said Rich Ormrod, senior vice president of Retail Design Strategies, Atlanta, describing his company's wellness store design. Included will be "preventative health maintenance, physician referral, rehabilitation -- everything from head to toe, serving newborns to senior citizens."
"No one is taking a holistic approach to wellness as an entire category," said Ormrod. "There's a tremendous void in relation to what pharmacies, grocery stores, health food stores and physical fitness equipment manufacturers do." Pharmacists will be essential to the new store's format, according to Ormrod.
"The pharmacy will be one of the key departments within this store of the future. The pharmacist will be relied upon even more for his professional advice. We see it as expanding the pharmacist's role," said Ormrod. Some of the new and innovative products available will require the pharmacist's assistance.
In the category of oral care, for example, a wellness store would not only carry a wide assortment of toothbrushes, toothpastes and flosses, but also oral rehabilitation products, braces, said Ormrod.
In addition to products, Ormrod said he foresees the wellness store providing interactive videos on care and disease prevention, plus physician or dentist referral to assist with additional problems.
At Concept 2000 the wellness store was to be packed into a 900-square-foot vignette, said Ormrod. "But we showed drawings and floor plans of what a 15,000-plus-square-foot wellness store will look like."
The wellness store also will look to merchandise its products more aggressively than most retail stores currently do, said Ormrod. "We will tie the retailer and the manufacturer closer together and try to get assistance from manufacturers for point-of-sale displays or planograms," he explained.
Retail Design Strategies is now designing a prototypical 10,000-square-foot pharmacy for York Pharmacy in York, Ala. In addition, the Wellness Store of the Future may be built sooner than 2000.
"We have attracted some venture capitalists who are interested in taking what we have designed and making it a reality," said Ormrod. He said the firm hopes to break ground on its first wellness store by this summer or fall.
Once this happens, Ormrod said he thinks there will be plenty of fitness-conscious baby boomers and other Americans ready to shop for wellness.