Our end-to-end, or “key to key” (as we like to say), design and build services take care of every detail from start to finish, and long after. As our clients’ trusted design partner, we provide support after project completion with our fast response after care services.

Instagram feed

+971 4 2566216
+971 4 2566260
info@361dds.com

Aster Pharmacy’s Retail Stores

Objective

  • Unique but simple
  • Eye-catching
  • Easily replicated in 300 stores across the GCC by 2017
  • Economically sustainable
  • Modular and flexible retail shelving
  • Straightforward product identification and categorization

Concept, Design and Challenges

When we studied Aster Pharmacy’s existing stores, we found that they offer a wider range of products than any other pharmacy chain in the region, but they lacked a product categorization system. We also faced the challenge of hanging displays, which comprised 25% of the stores’ retail displays. These were usually managed with slat walls, which were unattractive. Overall, the existing stores lacked a coherent visual communication strategy with strong design elements to connect with customers.

We addressed these issues in our new design, which used a simple yet unique and innovative approach. We broke away from the stereotypical cluttered and dull-looking pharmacy in favor of a bright and highly organized interior. We used white finishes on all of the walls, ceilings, flooring and retail displays to create a fresh, clean, timeless feel as well as a neutral canvas to highlight products and branding. We took special care with these finishes to prevent the stores from looking too clinical. We included Aster Pharmacy’s corporate color, aqua blue, using cove lights to increase brand awareness and break up any monotony from the white finish.

For the retail displays, we installed a unique back-lit strand pattern on glass, which is now a key feature of every Aster Pharmacy store. We found our inspiration in the human blood circulatory and nervous systems, as well as Aster Pharmacy’s integrated network across the GCC. The real beauty of these retail displays lies in their simplicity, with one detail serving as both a glass shelf display and a hanging display. This detail provides flexibility for shelving and gives the same look and feel for each type of display.

Each retail shelf is modular and flexible, which saves on cost and construction time. Partitions separate each shelf to help categorize products and coordinate with branding. We also included Internet kiosks and touch sensitive TV displays built into the wall to offer online medical support to customers. With every detail, we looked at ways to decrease vulnerability and wear. Some features, like skirting, can be easily damaged, so we moved it inside the display for protection. This change also decreases maintenance needs and gives the shelves a floating appearance.

In all, we transformed dull, crowded, disorganized pharmacies into bright and fresh retail spaces using white finishes with aqua accents, a signature glass pattern, strong visual communication, and simple yet innovative detailing. With these changes, Aster Pharmacy’s retail stores now stand out from the competition.

Results

  • Following Aster Pharmacy’s relaunch in 2013, our design has been a phenomenal success with continued roll out in the company’s 300+ stores across the GCC and plans for more.
  • With our design, an entire store can be built in only 10-15 days, with lower build and maintenance costs, making it very economically sustainable.
  • The new design is environmentally sustainable, too. All the materials used are locally sourced and fabricated and most can either be recycled or reused. The paints used had zero or low VOC. We used only LED lights and energy efficient equipment.