New Walgreens Pharmacy Layout

I was in a Walgreens last week in Chicago.  Maybe it’s just a newer store than my local store in St. Louis, but I thought the pharmacy looked very different.  I captured a few shots with my camera phone.  As you can see below:

1. There is an automated check-in option for refills. 

2. There is a pharmacist in front of the counter not just behind.  (And people were actively coming in and talking with him.)  The clinic also seemed to have a person on the floor roaving around interacting rather than sitting behind a podium. 

4. There was a sitting space with what appeared to be a meeting room.

5. Overall, there was a lot more signage and videos which made it a very lively and bright place to be. 


This seems like a different engagement strategy.  I’m surprised no one is talking about it.  The only thing I could find was a mention of a “training store” and 40 locations and the following mention in an article about Express Scripts and Walgreens:

As part of its plan to expand its healthcare offerings and reduce costs, Walgreen is working on pilot stores with new technology and a health guide on staff to help patrons more easily fill prescriptions, speak to pharmacists and see nurse practitioners at its in-store Take Care clinics. The first such store, in the village of Oak Park, Illinois, opened in November. Walgreen plans to have 20 stores in Chicago and other nearby towns by October.  (source)

It sounds like there are just a few stores so I must have got lucky to stumble into this one.  I had heard rumors of some re-design, but I hadn’t seen anything out there on the Internet.  Interesting.  I’d love to see a study to understand satisfaction, engagement rates, retention, etc. associated with this footprint versus the older store pharmacy layout.

2 Responses to “New Walgreens Pharmacy Layout”

  1. Not sure which Walgreens this was in Chicago, but this looks very similar to the recently redesigned store on Washington St., in the loop. The entire store layout was changed to allow for more efficient navigating. The aisles begin at the front of the store and are parallel to the front windows (rather than behind the checkout lines and perpendicular to the front windows like before). This keeps the shoppers on the west side of the store, separated from the checkout line, which is on the east side of the store. Rather than multiple checkout lines at the front of the store, there’s one long checkout line with multiple cashiers in a single line (like an Ulta store) on the east side of the store, which leads out to the exit.
    The pharmacy has translucent glass panes and clean white panels and bright lights. I was talking to the pharmacist there about a month ago and he said that the same designer that designed the Apple stores also designed their pharmacy. I could see the similarities.


  1. Design Thinking Is Critical For The Healthcare User Experience (UX) | Enabling Healthy Decisions - January 8, 2014

    […] But, one of the key reasons that I want to talk about this is IDEO’s frameworks are critical for healthcare.  If you look at David Kelley from IDEO, one of his key points is that “empathy” is essential to design.  That is so true in healthcare.  It reminds me of my interview with Michael Graves on this topic.  (BTW – IDEO is the group that worked with Walgreens on their new store design.) […]

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