New pharmacy focused on shopper experience
A pharmacy that has embraced some of the latest retail technology has opened in Hamilton.
There is a spacious, modern feel to Par-la-Ville Pharmacy, which is on the corner of Church Street and Par-la-Ville Road, and that is a testament to the vision of owner Kiran Shah.
He wanted to create a retail pharmacy that was in tune with the expectations of today’s increasingly well-travelled customers.
Mr Shah purposely made the aisles wider to give a more relaxed shopping experience for customers, and the products on the shelves are always neatly arranged flush with the front of the shelf so they can be easily accessed.
The pharmacy achieves its “full shelves” appearance thanks to the appliance of smart technology that ensures when an item is taken from a shelf the remaining stock automatically moves forward to fill the gap.
The smart system does away with the need for staff to constantly monitor and manually adjust the products on the shelf, it also reduces the need for continual cleaning of shelf areas.
Electronic displays attached to the shelves show the price of products, doing away with the need for a price tag to be stuck on each individual item.
But these little touches are only part of the fresh approach that Mr Shah has taken to make the new pharmacy stand out from the crowd.
With staff no longer having to busy themselves with mundane shelf-filling and pricing tasks, they have more time to interact with customers. The pharmacy is giving its retail-side employees a grounding in basic healthcare and product awareness so they can then share that knowledge with customers.
“The winner is the customer,” said Mr Shah, explaining that monthly training gives staff skills in different areas of healthcare to increase their confidence when interacting with customers.
“We want the sales associates to feel they are playing their part in providing healthcare, and that gives the customer a better experience.”
The pharmacy also features a dedicated prescriptions counter manned by trained pharmacists.
For many years the street-level corner space of Clarendon House, on Church Street, has been vacant. Mr Shah noticed the empty space and felt it had retail potential.
“It’s always been a busy thoroughfare with the nearby international businesses and retail shops of Hamilton,” he said.
“I was looking at the space and I thought something needs to go there.”
Mr Shah also runs the Point Finger Road Pharmacy in Paget, which is a clinical pharmacy. He said he has always been interested in opening a retail pharmacy, and saw the potential of the vacant street corner unit. He contacted the landlords, “who were supportive and saw the vision” and then set to work renovating the unit, which had, many years ago, been used as offices and a mailing room.
The transformation included new flooring, walls being removed and new air conditioning installed. The result is impressive, and there is more to come. One area of the shop is awaiting new products that will further enhance the pharmacy’s offerings.
Even though Mr Shah feels it will take six months to completely get the pharmacy the way he wants it to be, he is pleased by the initial reaction from customers who have given it a try.
“We’ve had very good feedback, particularly from the aspect of the shop experience. People are coming in and enjoying the clean, tidy and spacious environment,” he said.
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