Executives at Katz Group say the company’s six Rexall Healthy Living stores are aimed at “helping Canadians live their healthiest.”

Rexall Healthy Living, Katz Group, drug store, Andy Giancamilli, disease state management, disease prevention, Healthy Living pharmacies, Rexall, Rexall Reminder Ready, MedsCheck, Hemocode, Dermatological Skin­care Center, Wet Play Station, Alasdair McKichan, Ken Malone, Denise Darragh

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Inside This Issue - News

Rexall's new format designed to foster healthy living

November 8th, 2010
by Alasdair McKichan

MILTON, Ontario – Executives at Katz Group say the company’s six Rexall Healthy Living stores are aimed at “helping Canadians live their healthiest.”

The newest of those drug stores opened here last month and is the third Rexall Healthy Living unit in the Toronto area. The others are in Calgary, Alberta, and Kelowna, British Columbia. At 17,000 square feet, the Milton store is among the largest Healthy Living units.

“The concept behind the Healthy Living store is that it encourages customers to be active participants in the preservation or restoration of their health and to utilize the full range of staff specialists and resources the store offers to help them achieve their goals,” Katz chief executive officer Andy Giancamilli says. “We’re here to help patients feel better.”

The newest Healthy Living store represents a fresh approach to pharmacy care that offers a unique experience throughout the entire store, according to Giancamilli.

“It provides an opportunity to bridge the gap in patient care by providing greater support and accessibility to disease state management and disease prevention,” he says.

One of the most notable features of the new store is the Rexall Healthy Living patient interactive terminal. This device’s touch-screen technology enables customers to browse and look up information on general health topics, disease conditions, prescriptions and over-the-counter products. For example, when the barcode of an ­O-T-C item is scanned, the terminal delivers information on the product and its use.

Equally important to Katz’ effort to create what it calls a patient-centric store is the way that the Healthy Living pharmacies operate.

The pharmacies offer all the standard Rexall services, ranging from its Rexall Reminder Ready program, which notifies a pharmacist when a patient’s prescription is up for renewal and calls the customer to let him or her know the prescription can be picked up, to MedsCheck, a service that reviews all of a patient’s medications to confirm their suitability and uncover possible adverse interactions.

In addition, the Rexall Healthy Living pharmacies offer some new services, including an antibiotic follow-up program that provides patients with adherence reminders; Hemocode, a blood test that helps identify food that may be causing digestive or other health issues; and Bpro, an advanced blood pressure test that measures the central aortic systolic pressure.

Immediately adjacent to the pharmacy is a presentation of diabetes-related merchandise, convenient for pharmacists’ explanations and serving as the gateway to the store’s healthy living section.

Meanwhile, the front of the store has been compartmentalized into four color-coded zones for easy navigation.

The first of those areas that a shopper sees after entering the store is the Dermatological Skin­care Center. Simply dubbed Derm and offset by blue signage, the skin care center offers customers skin analysis using the company’s Dermo Analyzer, which is said to be the first tool of its kind ever employed in Canada.

The customer-centric theme is also evidenced in the skin care center’s Wet Play Station, a large, modern sink that lets customers wash up after testing skin care and cosmetic products.

While the Derm section offers a range of prestige brands, the cosmetics in the rest of the store’s beauty area are primarily the popular and middle-market brands on which the company has historically focused.

Executives explain that other brands in the front end have been carefully edited so that they will offer patients the best likely outcomes.

Vice president of merchandising Ken Malone stresses that this paring down of the mix does not mean that customers have been denied choice. The large space allocated to each section allows the presentation of expanded selections for most categories, he says.

The first aid section, for example, carries 50% more SKUs than a traditional Rexall store, the diet offering is 120% larger, and the nutraceutical and sports nutrition selections are three times bigger than the traditional offering.

Meanwhile, the generous space lets the company use other tools to help customers make decisions on which product is right for their needs. In the orthotics department, for instance, a customer can stand on a device that will demonstrate the type of foot support that is needed.

Also, over 200 signboards throughout the store provide shoppers with health advice.
“We wanted to both inform and inspire,” vice president of marketing Denise Darragh says about the approach the company took in developing its customer communication strategy throughout the store. “We know most customers are keen to acquire information on health issues, but we did not want to appear to be too heavy handed.

“In the average household, the key member concerned with the health of all the family members is mom. That is true at the three main stages of life,” she says. “So our messages are directed not just at the young mothers and the ‘soccer moms’ but also at the baby-boomer moms, now likely part of the sandwich generation with parents as well as children to be concerned about, and the senior moms dealing with aging issues.”