Case Study

Community Pride Motivates Pharmacy Remodel

How to Keep Your Business
Fresh, Up to Date and Competitive
And Solve Serious Structural Challenges

The pride you have in your business has come with years of building customer appeal and giving excellent service. Knowing that it is time for a renovation is a challenge that requires serious thought. There were structural problems that were beginning to show at Economy Drug. The solution was easier than we thought with the right architectural consultation.


Third Generation Family Drug Store
Preserves Downtown Community

The Economy Drug in Ely, Nevada began with pharmacist Dale Miller (RPh) at the helm from 1946 until his death in 2002. His daughter Margaret Bath (PharmD) joined the family pharmacy in 1978, retiring in 2014. The newest family pharmacist, Andy Bath, (PharmD) took over in 2012 as managing pharmacist. Margaret’s retirement seemed like the perfect time to remodel and give the store a new appearance.
The need for a new look and pharmacy layout was evident. Economy Drug needed to meet growing demands, more customers and pharmacy complexity. And there were concerns for the integrity of the building.
But, the main reason for deciding on a renovation was the Baths’ strong commitment to the quality of life in Ely’s downtown.

Store Stayed Up-to-Date Through the Years

Economy Drug always kept up with the times in goods and services. The store has provided this community with 68 years of trusted, personalized pharmacy services. Even after fire destroyed the building in 1959, they rebuilt.
Over the years, the business model expanded. The Baths always tried to give Ely a variety of goods and services that customers in bigger cities have available.
The store is a true old-style pharmacy and drug store. It is complete with a fountain serving sandwiches and “Lime Rickeys” under a red and white canopy.
The owners wanted to preserve the uniqueness of the store. A pharmacy renovation became the best solution to keep Economy Drug’s distinctive presence.


Flow of Store Layout

A primary focus for the remodel was the flow of the store’s layout. Andy Bath (PharmD) emphasized, “We are there for our customers. We are a living presence for them. In essence, direct client access is the heart of a successful pharmacy business”
“In the original pharmacy we “fit” everything in as we grew,” said Margaret Bath (PharmD). “It was time to create a space that fit with the new technology and that allowed for maximizing crucial workflow.”
The number of prescriptions prepared without error is important. A sophisticated computer system replaced the original handwritten prescription file.
Also, the computerization of the pharmacy by a “robot” named Maggie is a significant addition. The computer directs Maggie to fill the top 200 frequently filled medications. Margaret adds, “It doesn’t look at all like R2D2!”
The original compounding space was inconvenient. Medication therapy management is a burgeoning area of pharmacy practice.
Consultation space is a necessity.


Owners Research Successful Business Renovation Companies

The original drug store construction had possible structural concerns. Thus, it was necessary to contact an architectural firm. The owners contacted Parallel Lines Studio, a design firm in Salt Lake City. The architecture firm’s ability to do complex retail renovations made it perfect for the job.
Thomas Bath and Jenni Dalley own Parallel Lines Studio. Both architects received extensive training in commercial retail renovation by leading Seattle firms.
Thomas focuses on designing energy efficient and high performance projects. He considers the unique aspects of the site and surrounding context.
Jen is the creative voice behind the studio’s projects. Contemporary architecture with clean lines and simple forms has influenced her. She spent seven years working at a large commercial firm in Seattle. She received a fellowship to study her passion: the use of natural light in architecture.

Remodel Focused on Customer/Pharmacist
Accessibility and Increased Work Space

Parallel Lines Studio assessed the changing needs of pharmacy clients. The pharmacist interactions with clients that emphasize personalized service is primary. It has been what customers have grown to expect from Economy Drug.
Eliminating the elevated pharmacy area allowed the pharmacists more accessibility to customers.
The architects emphasized easy access for getting prescriptions to the pharmacist. Adequate computer work space helped with the accessibilty.
Immunizations now have a larger, more private area. Increased space added for space for more medication therapy consultation. Medicare allowances for healthcare consultations are important aspects in the pharmacy business model.

Increasing Pharmacy Visibility

A more visible pharmacy would draw customers to that area. Using natural daylight enhanced lighting. A raised the pharmacy ceiling and a light box of acrylic panels brought more attractiveness and openness.
Additionally, the glassed-in pharmacy area made the pharmacy a focus of the store.
Wood panels increase warmth of the store. The wood bleeding from inside to outside in a continuous movement set the pharmacy as a beacon.

Structural Problems Confirmed as Renovation Progressed

Long standing structural issues were a major concern for the owners. When the original store had burned down in 1959, a new store was rebuilt within the original structure. But, the rebuild was not well done. Parallel Lines Studio replaced the poor original framing that had rotted and had broken trusses. The architects added new roof beams and columns and poured new footings. The improvements guarantee a long life for the current structure. The architects had the expertise to handle such complex structural problems.


Relationships Highlight Heart of New Pharmacy;
Owners Pleased with Business Remodel!

Customers and owners alike agree that the six month remodel was worth the wait.
Andy Bath stated that “the remodel gives our patients access to quality healthcare for years to come. Our customers are pleased with the remodel. We feel really good about our place in the community.”

Customers Embrace State-of-the-Art Pharmacy!

The number of prescriptions compounded has increased 10% in a short time. The new space encourages prescribers and physicians to be creative with their problem solving.
Adequate space improves healthcare management and lets pharmacists counsel patients with serious health problems. The pharmacist can privately talk with patients who need privacy.
Computer access allows chart reviews. The Immunization area has encouraged a 15% increased immunizations.
The extensive remodel has resulted in a state-of-the-art pharmacy. The renovation provides retail sales areas that rival pharmacies in metropolitan areas.

Get in touch with Parallel Lines Studio:

850 S 400 W, #113, Salt Lake City, UT 84101, Phone: 801-441-2203,
See the construction progress for Economy Drug on website.

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