Discount Drug Stores opens drive-through pharmacy

Discount Drug Stores has opened Australia’s first drive-through pharmacy in the Australian Capital Territory.

The drive-through pharmacy, which is also a first for Discount Drug Stores, will offer customers a simple click and collect program, script collection, e-commerce orders, no queues and will benefit customers on repeat prescriptions or seeking over-the-counter medication.

The concept was the brainchild of Nader Ibrahim, Gold Creek Discount Drug Stores partner.

He opened the drive-through to create a new form of accessible healthcare for the brand and ACT community to meet consumer needs

Ibrahim said the area is a hub for families.

“The addition of a drive-through means parents can now pick up their scripts without having to bring their kids in the pharmacy, making it more convenient,” he said.

Ibrahim, who previously owned Gold Creek Chemist before rebranding the pharmacy to Discount Drug Stores, said rebranding to Discount Drug Stores has enabled the business to expand its offering with a larger range of products at a lower, more competitive price.

Parent company Sigma Healthcare’s discount pharmacy retail group general manager, Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas, said its investment into new initiatives allows the brand to adapt to the changing needs of its customers.

“As we continue to expand our national footprint, we strive to be innovative and ahead of the trends,” Kuskopf-Dallas said. “The launch of Gold Creek Discount Drug Stores’ drive-through is a prime example of the brand’s ability to adapt and better serve our customers.

“Gold Creek is a revolutionary step forward for our brand and we hope to see the success of this concept widen our ability to support customer wellness all year round.

“It’s an example of just one of the ways pharmacies can use technology to innovate and expand their healthcare offering out in the community. While the drive-through concept won’t necessarily suit all sites, partnering with Gold Creek Discount Drug Stores has enabled us to adapt and innovate as a brand as well, and strengthens our ability to support other members also looking to innovate with either a drive-through or any other retail concept.”

The inside floor-space is comparable to a typical pharmacy at under 300sqm. There is also space outside the pharmacy with in and out windows with 6m to 8m on each side to allow for cars.

There are technical challenges with implementing drive-through technology for a pharmacy model, which it typically isn’t geared to, Kuskopf-Dallas pointed out.

“Our major focus was the internal layout of the shop floor, optimising the retail space and dispensary workflow to accommodate for the drive-through which has those external in and out windows.”

Kuskopf-Dallas said Discount Drug Stores has experienced a strong start to 2018 with five new stores joining the brand, and the business on track to reach 150 stores this year.

“Our focus is to deliver the highest standard of healthcare advice and deliver industry leading professional services which helps pharmacists tap into the 6CPA funding and meet community healthcare needs,” he said.

Innovation is key to the company staying ahead in a constantly changing industry.

“We’re proud to have led the marketplace with our pain and diabetes management services, and we’re also excited to be introducing a new organics and health foods offering into the network. With the strength of Sigma behind the brand, we’re also increasing our technology ventures through our partnerships with FRED NXT and MedAdvisor.

“We’re also excited to be exploring other innovative new store models as well, such as our first 24 hour pharmacy, Harvest Lakes Discount Drug Store in Western Australia,” he said.