value of design

Why you need a designer pharmacy? …to position yourself on the market

Why you need a designer pharmacy?

… to position yourself on the market


value of design


I often hear comments like:

“…no, I don’t need Sartoretto Verna™…I don’t need someone to tell me what to do… I’ll work on my pharmacy myself and organise it as I see fit…I don’t need a designer pharmacy, I just need one that works…”

Ok, I won’t get offended and I don’t want to come across as someone who just looks out for their best interests. Let’s say that you can renovate your pharmacy without me…

…after all, you just need good taste, a few tips from the net, a few more from some magazines…a couple of stolen ideas from interior design companies (projects are free, right?), and then…

…who doesn’t have a friend to show their ideas to and help put everything together with a “touch of flare”?

Your new pharmacy is complete!

I’d like you to think about the fact that design can play an important role in your pharmacy’s success in that it says more than you could ever imagine about you and your business.

To explain better I’d like to tell you about something that happened to me in one of the coldest areas of Russia…

About 5 years ago we were asked to manage the rebranding of an important Siberian Pharmacy chain and together with the managers and owners we visited many of the competition’s stores.

Our client really wanted us to analyse a new “concept store”, of 36.6, one of the biggest stores in Russia.

To my great surprise, most of the products were grouped together on a huge pallet in the center of the store and the rest were displayed on shelves with metal racks, the very same ones used in discount stores all over the world. The lighting was white and pale and the flooring was lino.

I decided to talk to the pharmacy director and I remember his exact words:

“Here at 36.6” he said, “we want our customers to think that we are able to offer all of the big brand health and wellness products at the lowest price on the market. This is why we purposefully organize all of our pharmacies in the style of “hard discount” stores. No frills, no extras. We don’t want our customers to think that they are paying a higher price for a product so that we can cover our costs.

Our pharmacies are basic if you will, and they communicate our vision.”

I originally thought that this pharmacy didn’t have a design and that the mountains of boxes, the warehouse pallets and the industrial lighting meant that no-one had actually thought about it, yet it was all voluntary!

Someone had purposefully chosen to organize the pharmacy like that, in order to make it coherent with the brand.

If you think about it, Apple also does this in its stores. It’s just that to sell “high-end electronic devices” they do the opposite of 36.6 because they are in fantastic locations, redesigned to optimize the space and furnished down to the last detail to sell a few pence compared to 36.6…

…yet you feel like you are in the smartest place in the world and you are buying one of the smartest products on the market!

This is why design in the pharmacy is ever-more important: it defines your position in the market! And it’s for this reason that it is fundamental that pharmacy project planning is done by architects who don’t just ask themselves “what” to do or “how” to do it…they ask themselves “why” they should do it!!

This is what we do at Sartoretto Verna™ and this is why our pharmacies work and are very successful.

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So…if you want to open a new chapter, change strategy and “renovate” your pharmacy choosing furniture, materials, lights and colors…

…before asking yourself “what” to do, or “how” to do it, ask yourself “why”…

Because everything you put (or don’t put) in your pharmacy communicates something to the people who use it…and the hard thing is to make sure that what the public sees are the things you want them to see, that they are in line with your brand and not other brands which in any case will always be there.

Make sure they are the right things!

If, on the other hand you are not quite sure how to answer the “why” you should be using one thing as oppose to another…

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Let’s go!

Luca Sartoretto Verna
MD Sartoretto Verna Srl



PS: Thanks goes to architect A. Langhi for his inspiration and tips on this article.