Dispensing with tradition

AAH Retail Pharmacy, a 1400-strong group of pharmacies and health shops, was formed by the union of the Hills Pharmacy and Lloyds Chemists chains, both themselves the results of previous mergers and acquisitions. It has been operating under a number of different identities as a result.

In a market under increasing pressure from supermarket pharmacies, and the long-established Boots the Chemist, staff at AAH were well aware that the chain must present a unified image to make the most of its network of stores.

The result of the subsequent project, by Design House, will be unveiled over the next week in a 20m refurbishment programme. The consultancy was briefed to communicate ‘wellness’, and to show a fresh start, with a new trading format and identity.

The entire portfolio will be brought under one name, and after long deliberation Lloyds was chosen, with a heritage-based identity. The Lloyds archives threw up a pestle and mortar image, once a generic sign for pharmacies, which Design House adapted to form the new Lloyds logo.

The hope is that the image will now become associated exclusively with Lloyds, and according to AAH marketing director Nick Stokes, the group is currently applying to register the pestle and mortar image as a trademark. The yellow logo is presented against a dark green background for most applications, although a wider palette has been selected for different uses.

The pestle and mortar image is applied widely in Design House’s store design, appearing as an etched image in the glass frontage and, in a more abstract fashion, behind the customer service area. The redesign removes many of the barriers between pharmacy staff and customers, and allows easier access to non-prescription items.

The consultancy has also been appointed to develop packaging for a range of premium-level own-label products for Lloyds. These are due to be launched later this year.

Design: Design House

Client: AAH Retail Pharmacy

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