It’s great to hear about so many pharmacies making plans for refits at the moment. Off the back of a challenging year, many are wanting to update and refresh their working environment and quite a few pharmacies are creating an improved professional services offering, creating health hubs by adding medical centres and allied health services.
During the initial research phase of the re-fit process, near the top of the list of questions is the ‘How much does a refit cost?” Several variables impact the answer to this question and the following list is a guide to some of the decisions and considerations for making changes and the impact on cost.
Base build costs – invariably, this will be the most significant investment. Building walls, upgrading plant equipment like air-conditioning and adding any new plumbing are some of the cost drivers. Factor this in when you are adding a consulting room or compounding facilities.
Finishes and materials – there are so many choices to be made, and this impacts your cost. High end finishes like Corian benchtops cost more money than a laminate, but they can be more durable and have infection control benefits.
Lighting – Getting the balance right between looking like a hospital ED and the bat cave is essential. A poorly delivered, well-lit space, looks better than a great space which is poorly lit. Having quality light fittings with accurate colour rendering makes a difference to the aesthetics of your pharmacy. There are so many advancements in lighting, sometimes it is faster and more efficient to engage with a lighting engineer.
Flooring – The quality of the existing base is an important consideration and directly impacts your final flooring cost. Vinyl planks and carpet are surprisingly similar in price, if your base is right, you can get an immediate refresh by changing over the flooring.
Fixtures and joinery – well-designed joinery can be an efficiency driver while making a big statement in your pharmacy. They help to position the type of pharmacy you are trying to create. An interesting but little understood fact is re-using your existing joinery can cost you more in the long run.
Signage – strong signage in your pharmacy is vital in helping the customer navigate their way through a pharmacy. Retail pharmacy brands do this well. For independent pharmacies, the outlay doesn’t have to be colossal, you can balance the outlay with helping the customer navigate the pharmacy with ease, supporting the different retail areas in the front of shop.
Contractor selection – choosing a shopfitter or builder shouldn’t be done on price alone. Make sure you get references and ask questions around finishing projects on-time, quality of workmanship and the approach to any remediation work. Most builders will get the first 80% completed without any problems and the last 20% can be late, sloppy or incomplete. This is what you and your customer will notice and be disappointed with.
Time – when you are looking at any refit project, be sure to factor in the time it will take you and your staff in managing the project as well as working around the build process. Choosing the right partner can save you time and headaches.
Taking into account the variables, the range of costs in the table below is what we are currently seeing across Australia.