Safeway redesigns pharmacy

Safeway (NYSE:SWY) is moving pharmacy to the center store with a redesigned department that stands to make the category the heart of the store. The new positioning puts the focus on patient care and fosters interaction between the store and shoppers.

It's a move more typical of drug chains as they open store clinics and launch health-related programs following implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Safeway is relocating pharmacy from along a wall and putting it in center store, according to Supermarket News. The redesigned the department features lower counters, removes the glass partitions between the pharmacist and customers, and allows for pharmacists to freely exit the enclosed area to consult with patients in the OTC area.

"We can make pharmacy the center of health and wellness, with concentric circles spreading out to the OTC area, and all all the way out to the perimeter, with fresh produce," Darren Singer, senior VP of pharmacy, health and wellness told attendees at FMI Connect. "We've essentially dropped a drugstore into the middle of our supermarket."

Space allocated to OTC has been expanded to 120 feet from 90 feet. Lower shelving and better lighting help make the area more inviting and facilitate access to the pharmacist.

For more:
-See this Supermarket News story

Related stories:
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Safeway sold for $9 billion, will merge with Albertsons
Safeway stock rallies on buyout rumors; debt concerns rise
Investors happy about Safeway shedding Dominick's
Safeway Canada sells out to Sobey's for $5.7 billion

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