Opening a Pharmacy Part 3: Preparing Your Location

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Store Management
On October 10, 2012

In the first and second installment of this series, we discussed reasons to open an independent pharmacy and selecting a location for the pharmacy. In this article, we will look at preparing your new space.


Congratulations. You have decided to open an independent pharmacy and have settled on a location. Now, you need to prepare your retail location for its new life as a pharmacy. Most landlords will provide what is often referred to as a “vanilla box.” Basically, you will have an empty space with a simple white paintjob. It is up to you to add a little extra flavor to this vanilla.


It is always a good idea to talk to an expert with experience setting up a store. Look for a company with experience creating store layouts and furnishing the room with custom pharmacy shelving.


Draw Up Your Floor Plans

Pharmacy Shelving

Once you have found your location, you can draw up your floor plans. By this time, you should have decided whether or not this will just be a pharmacy. You may also choose to run a front store to sell over the counter medications, toiletries, food, and other products. Keep all of your products in mind when you draw up your plans. Make sure you account for your work station as well as a waiting area for customers and a sales counter for retail purchases.


Keep in mind the color scheme and branding you want in your store. A consistent brand will separate you from your competitors and let your customers know when they are in your store.


Get the Space in Shape


The vanilla box may not have everything you need. You may also want to dress up the space with fresh paint or new floors. After you collaborate with store shelving experts on your floor plan, you can contact local contractors to help build any walls, add plumbing, or extend electric as needed to fit your needs and desires. If you want to change the flooring, this should also be done before you begin adding fixtures and products.


Find your Fixtures

pharmacy shelving and fixtures

You will need to purchase pharmacy shelving and fixtures to outfit your store. You will need a sales counter, cabinets and counters for your work station. Also, consider a variety of gondolas and wall units for all of your retail goods. Custom retail shelving will be important to give you the exact look and functionality you want.


Setting up a store can take two to four weeks. In this time you must also make sure that your licensing is complete and that you have employees ready to work. The next step is opening the doors. Check out our next installment in this series to see what you might expect.


Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio


Steve has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 15 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, he was named Director of Marketing. Steven earned his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing in 2019. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.