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Goal of new Rexall store format: improve health care for Canadians

Left: The store’s redesign allows for a clear sightline to...
“Our goal here is to improve health care for Canadians,”...
The store’s combined skin care and beauty department, called the...
Left: Stores are divided into four core shopping zones, color-coded...

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario —Katz Group Canada’s flagship Rexall drug store chain has unveiled a new format, called Rexall Healthy Living Pharmacy, at six Rexall locations across Canada. The stores offer “more than 200 health information touch points, new team members, new tools and services, and one of the broadest assortments of [dermatologic] brands in the Canadian market,” according to Katz Group.

Upon entering the store, customers can get help at the “Healthy Living Station” from a specially trained “healthy living adviser,” who provides guidance on products and introductions to pharmacy and skin care services, as well as other help.

Among the health-and-wellness services available to customers is a simple-stick “hemocode” blood test to help patients identify foods that may be creating digestive or other health issues.

Another first for the chain: a Rexall Healthy Living Patient Interactive Terminal, which allows patients to research health information and learn more about disease, prevention, over-the-counter remedies and other topics.

The pharmacy has been expanded to roughly 900 sq. ft., and 5-of-the-6 pilot stores also feature a 190-sq.-ft. Rexall Resource Room adjacent to the pharmacy waiting lounge, which can host health seminars and other functions.

The new format, said Rexall CEO Andy Giancamilli, is “a full-line drug store, with full coverage of everything you would expect to find in a drug store, but it’s very focused on healthy living. Our goal here is to improve health care for Canadians,” he told Drug Store News.

One striking example: the stores’ huge, combined skin care and beauty care department. The section, called the Derm Centre and staffed by an expert skin care adviser, features a huge assortment of high-end and mid-priced brands for healthier skin, along with a “Dermo Analyzer” that provides interactive skin analysis to help customers identify such potential skin issues as hydration and sun sensitivity. The tool helps derm consultants work with individual customers to create a customized skin care regime.

The section also offers a “wet play station” to allow customers to sample products. “Instead of being focused on just cosmetics like our competitors, we’re focused on derm,” Giancamilli asserted.

In addition, there are perimeter and in-aisle departments aimed at different disease states and therapies, including oral care, diabetes, women’s health and bone density. Each department features “information touch points”—signage cueing customers about health benefits and other helpful information.

The new prototype features between 3,500 and 5,000 new SKUs to accommodate the added focus on healthier products, new skin care lines, etc. Stores range in size from 11,000 to 17,000 sq. ft.

To better organize the Healthy Living prototype, Rexall has divided the store into four core shopping zones, color-coded for easy navigation: The Healthy Living section is green; the Derm Centre is light blue; Cosmetics has pink undertones; and the front-end is orange. In general, both the pharmacy and the overall store layout has been opened up to encourage what Rexall officials said is “an increased level of interactivity between the store staff and the customer.”

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