Boots the Chemists is planning to introduce private consulting booths throughout its stores this August, as other pharmacies consider similar moves.
A radical departure for the retailer, the 2.3 by 1.3m booths (pictured) are designed by London group Era Studio, and will allow customers to discuss ailments with their pharmacist in a discreet environment. They will be trialled in three stores in north-west England, before rolling out across selected Boots sites nationwide.
Era Studio was briefed to create a comfortable, contained environment that ‘would not block customers’ views of stock on shelves and would have as little impact as possible on merchandise units’, says consultancy partner Peter Emrys-Roberts.
‘The challenge was to make a small space comfortable and to provide privacy without also providing a place where people could hide, or where they would feel trapped or vulnerable with a practitioner. We also had to make the whole thing so it could be dropped in on-site,’ he explains.
The ‘Tardis-like pods’ will be constructed from gloss white glass fibre and they will boast doors incorporating a ‘hinge-and-slide’ mechanism. The group has also designed a desk and concealed cupboards for the interiors, which will be equipped with a computer, blood-testing kits and a spare chair.
The booths are the result of a year-long project by Era Studio, which is on Boots’ design roster.