De Apothekers

The ability to see further than the end of one's nose is not always a given. When the owner of ‘De Apothekers’ wanted to move and was therefore facing a large investment, he asked us: “What should I do, to be ready for the future?” Of course we jumped at this challenge. We put the present and the future under the microscope and designed a revolutionary new interior.

  • Client: De apothekers


First, we observed the contact moments in yesterday’s pharmacy. Who are the clients and what do they need? How do pharmacists receive their clients and which steps do they take in order to help them?

Old pharmacy keyserlei
Workshop Cocreation pharmacists

...before you leap

Based on this type of questions, we developed different personas and mapped their customer journey. We researched the possible impact of the economic context and the legal framework of health services. During co-creation workshops with pharmacists, nursing staff, suppliers and other stakeholders, we came up with solutions for the various challenges and bottlenecks.

Challenge: new competition

Supermarkets and other store chains are already selling personal care products and dietary supplements, and will soon add painkillers and other medication. A pharmacist’s best defense is his professional advice, which requires a setting with more privacy. The sales and the way services are offered need a new approach, we have to eliminate the queue and reduce the distance between customer and pharmacist!

Pharmacy central station interior design

Opportunity: a new role

The imminent shortage of family doctors can and will have to be met, partially, by pharmacists. Patients no longer consider the pharmacist as just a point of sale where they take their prescriptions, they increasingly also consult their pharmacist with specific problems. The pharmacist is again taking on a substantive role. That’s great for sales and for customer retention.

“The pharmacist is again taking on a substantive role. That’s great for sales and for customer retention.”

~Studio Dott.


Privacy and direct contact

An eye-catching green cross now sits in the middle of the room. This is the information and checkout point where the pharmacist stands right next to the customer. The distance has been reduced. It is now possible to speak more softly. It is also easier for the pharmacist to come out from behind the desk to pick a product from the shelves or guide the customer. This allows a better use of the contact moment. Supermarkets and online sales surely can’t match that.

Better service delivery

In a pharmacy with this many checkout points, there are no more queues. The layout encourages customers to have a look around. There’s a private corner where the pharmacist can give discrete advice, for example on how to quit smoking, or do certain tests and analyses.


A pharmacist and his robot

The computers at the checkout points are connected to a robotized stockroom. The pharmacist chooses the product, the robot picks it up in the stockroom and automatically sends it through a tunnel to the information and checkout point. This way, pharmacists don’t waste time. They can stay with their customer and give more guidance and advice.


The future is here

Thanks to this innovative shopping concept, this pharmacy is much more efficient, with the same number of staff, and service delivery has improved considerably. The concept is entirely future-oriented. The sales figures are on the rise. Patient counselling is becoming more important. This way, the pharmacy gains more regular customers. No wonder we made the press with this.


"Pharmacy of the future opens in Central Station"