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Design showcase: Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto

Canadian drug store chain Shoppers Drug Mart has introduced a new store format in Toronto, in a bid to bring the brand’s signature ‘Live Life Well’ strategy to life in a tangible way. Design agency Dalziel & Pow was appointed to create the store.

Located in Newmarket, Toronto, the 1,301 sq m (14,000sq ft) store concept draws on customer fondness for the brand while evolving to meet the needs of today’s customers.

The store is positioned as a feel-good destination that is full of daily inspiration and personalised interactions, to elevate the experience of shopping for everyday essentials. With price comparison and uniformity being the norm in the sector, Shoppers Drug Mart seeks to stands out by actively engaging the customer. Add-on services and swift check-outs deliver modern convenience, while brand communications offer a relatable and caring tone of voice that is humorous when appropriate and sincere when needed.

With over 1,000 stores across Canada, including branches in remote locations, the concept takes on a new role as a community hub, hosting informative and fun local events. Shoppers are immediately greeted with a welcome message from the storeowner when entering the store, and a dedicated space talks about local happenings, campaign content and key staff.

Key categories in-store include Health, Beauty and Convenience, which are laid out in a varied landscape of distinct departments – with bold, simple navigation and pockets of inspiration.

Pharmacy is the heart of the business and the destination for most customers in-store. The store provides an inviting, reassuring yet authoritative space, to ensure the service-led Pharmacy feels as relaxing as possible whilst customers are having health appointments. Soft lighting and communications help to put customers at ease. Pharmacy staff are profiled and celebrated within the space, encouraging customers to build a rapport with them.

The Beauty Department has been re-designed to appeal to a younger demographic, and to simplify an often-overwhelming category, while giving customers the opportunity to test out the latest trends. A lighting feature helps the department stand out and highlights a new service desk, which gives customers a friendly welcome.

A Tool Wall, implemented by digital agency Icon, spotlights own-brand makeup line QUO, and educates shoppers on how to use make-up brushes effectively. When customers interact with the brushes they trigger digital content about how to use each one effectively and select the right tool for the job.

With an ambition to become an authority on skincare in Canada, the new department is positioned as a destination to try new things or engage in a consultation. A devoted display table with advice about six skin types adds an element of storytelling to the space, while an eye-catching lighting fixture clearly anchors and calls out this section in the store.

In food, milk is a key traffic driver and becomes a focal point in the store - a large light box with the statement “Need Milk?” above a fridge in the timber wall drives customers to the food department.


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