The Drug Store of the Future Should Not Compete With C-Stores

CBX brand expert urges channel to “radically rethink” model, merchandise mix

Drug store pharmacy CBX (CSP Daily News / Convenience Stores / Gas Stations)

NEW YORK -- Chain drug stores should position themselves for the future by experimenting with paradigm-busting store prototypes that rethink business-as-usual approaches, said Joseph Bona, president of branded environments for brand agency CBX, in a column for Chain Drug Review.

“Drug stores are all about consumers taking better care of themselves,” he said. “The ‘Drug Store of the Future’ could offer products that reflect a more elevated consciousness.”

For example, in the future, chain drug store staples like candy, high-sugar drinks, lawn chairs, Styrofoam coolers, low-end electronics and other space-clogging, commoditized products—anything that is omnipresent at dollar stores, discounters, convenience stores and in other retail channels—should be downplayed or eliminated altogether.

Instead, the drug store prototype could add healthy elements such as a preventive medicine clinic, an organic juice bar, a wide selection of artisanal waters, FitBit-style gizmos and even a pickup area for farm-to-table produce. The store might also include a small community room for yoga classes, massages and other services.

“Today, drugstores are full of merchandise that dilutes or even harms their brands, which is precisely why CVS kicked tobacco to the curb,” he said.

So the front of the store would no longer be reminiscent of Dollar Tree or a convenience store, Bona said.

New York City-based CBX specializes in creative marketing services including: branding, retail design, packaging and promotional programming.

Click here to view the full column in Chain Drug Review.