New-look Boots stores to provide healthcare advice, more branches planned
Boots Retail (Thailand) plans to roll out at least 25 new branches a year after the opening of 25 additional outlets last year.
Currently it has 225 branches nationwide. The investment cost of each new branch varies between Bt3 million and Bt5 million.
The company, the first 100-per-cent accredited drugstore chain with 225 stores, has unveiled a new look and feel for its pharmacies to help support its new "condition-led" approach. This marks the most significant in-store revamp in 15 years.
Prapaphan Ploysangngam, merchandise and marketing director of Boots Retail (Thailand), said: "Boots Thailand believes that access to quality information and professional support, products and services, is essential for empowering and motivating people to feel confident and in control of their health, and the community pharmacy is at the heart of helping to deliver it.
"A new condition-led pharmacy approach is Boots Thailand's next step towards meeting this need. We will also strive to open more Boots stores upcountry to enhance healthcare and pharmacy coverage nationwide and upgrade Thailand's healthcare and pharmacy standards."
To provide active care to customers, Boots Thailand will launch the "Feel Good Together" programme to upgrade the current look and feel of the pharmacy area across the stores nationwide, marking the most significant in-store revamp in 15 years.
Starting this month, the new design and iconography being introduced will be used to make it easier and faster for customers to find and access healthcare and pharmacy services. This new design will also be used to help motivate customers to find out more about their health in all marketing materials.
As part of this condition-led pharmacy approach, Boots said it would provide special healthcare advice throughout the year. The first new service to launch will be the Allergy Expert Service.
Dr Aungkarat Subphachaisirikul, a rheumatologist at Mongkutwattana Hospital in Bangkok, said: "Allergies are one of most common chronic conditions throughout Thailand. They usually start early, in infancy or childhood, and often persist throughout life. An allergy incidence report found that Thailand has about 10 million to 15 million allergy patients, and this figure will potentially increase three to four times."
Prapaphan added: "One of the effective solutions to healthcare problems will require improving the prevention and management of allergies. Moreover, it is necessary to provide patients information from drugstore pharmacists, and this is where Boots Thailand will play an integral role. About 70 per cent of allergy patients will visit a drugstore as the first destination, and as Boots Thailand is the first 100-per-cent-accredited drugstore in Thailand, we believe we can do the best to help our customers feel good."
The Allergy Expert Service, in stores from Thursday, provides a comprehensive support pack containing information and advice on living with allergies.
Boots pharmacists have also been trained in how to offer support to customers in the management of allergies. The training programme is a collaborative effort o the faculty of pharmacy at Chulalongkorn University, GlaxoSmithKline (Thailand) and Boots Retail (Thailand).
"This new condition-led approach will be reflected through our marketing channels, in our stores, and through the healthcare teams we have in-store. We believe that Boots Thailand can, with the combination of new and enhanced services, and a new look and feel, inspire customers to feel more in control of the management of their health," Prapaphan said.
He added that the easy-to-understand icons and language would allow a brighter, sharper and more dynamic way of communicating healthcare and pharmacy products and services. The in-store revamp will also ensure pharmacy is more visible to customers, with updated fixtures and fittings. Consultation counters are also being updated with a more inviting feel to facilitate better conversations between pharmacists and customers, he said.
Boots Thailand says it recognises the important role that pharmacy plays in the delivery of expert healthcare advice to people. It believes the new condition-led approach will ensure that the pharmacist's role continues to be pivotal in the delivery of patient-centred care within the community.
With more than 160 years of expertise, more than 225 stores in Thailand and about 300 pharmacists, Boots Thailand considers itself ideally placed to offer accessible healthcare services.
The new look and feel went live in-store from Thursday.