Comtal Pharmacy, Health for the whole city since 1948
Year: 2018. Sales Area: 70m2. Location: Barcelona, Spain.
Four years ago, we re-designed Esther Garros's pharmacy in Lerida, which was a resounding success in commercial terms.
One of Esther's dreams was to be able to run a leading pharmacy in Barcelona. And, as dreams have a way of doing, this one came true.
Since 1948, he pharmacy has stood in Turó Park, one of the most exclusive districts of Barcelona. A clientele composed of a mix of families who have been regular customers all their lives and a new business class with foreign senior executives. The pharmacy had to convey an image of contemporary international luxury.
To create a brand, it is very important to have a good name and an idea about the story you want to tell. We were looking for a name that would say “Barcelona", and a symbol that would represent the city. So, we hit upon the brand name “Comtal” which in Castilian Spanish is “Condal”, that is to say, “La Farmacia de la Ciudad Condal” (the Pharmacy of the City of the Counts). From this idea we came up with the slogan: “Health for the whole city since 1948". Voila! Now we had a concept: “The Big Idea” on which to build the retail project.
All we needed now was an image, a logo that would encapsulate that idea. And here is where we come to one of the strokes of brilliance of this project: to use the Sagrada Familia, perhaps the most emblematic symbol of the city of Barcelona.
One of the strategic principles of the slogan “Comtal Pharmacy, health for the whole city” is to set it up to differentiate the brand, to grow, not just in terms of space but also in terms of the services it offers.
The major challenges of designing this commercial space were:
1) To provide pharmacy with the maximum visibility, presence and commercial attraction, without depending on the storefront.
2) To be able to offer 95% of the space to the customer. No space was available for a store room.
3) To differentiate the product presentation and the shopping experience in a premise with “passageway” floor with a width of just over 3.5 meters.
Our way of approaching retail projects is based on making the most of each and every zone that makes up the commercial space:
Store planning, store front, window display, entrance, sales area, changing room, waiting room, show cases, impulse buying… creating a clear image of quality that merges design with product presentation.
Another key aspect of this project is the materials used for the points of contact with the customer, the colour to use in order to produce visual excitement and lighting that makes you feel good. Every aspect has been carefully dealt with to convey the sensation that we are in a luxury pharmacy.
Ceramic tiled floors from Italy in imitation marble provide us with a feeling of well-being as soon as we enter.
Lacquered wood furnishings with a ‘frosted effect” provide light and a silky texture. The fact that no two panels are the same give the impression of luxurious craftsmanship. Counters made of Corian quartz and corporate walls made die-punched chipboard with back-lighting provide a feel of modernity and technology to provide the service and contribute to the project as a whole.
The product presentation is based on three main themes:
1) The concept “Health for the whole City” is based on the wall to the left, and the furniture is inspired by the buildings in the catchment area situated in Turó Park. If one looks closely, one can recognise three clearly differentiated types of buildings.
2) Customisation and the “Harley Davidson” concept: we have set out to make expertise the protagonist; everything is top quality and everything is in full view. A pioneering feature is the treatment in the presentation of the robot, and the finishes of the ironwork, screws and fittings are lacquered with the corporate colour. This is achieved down to the finest detail, for instance in the weighing scales.
3) 1970s. The colour of the pharmacy, the wall on the right and some of the lighting details such as the wall lamps are inspired by the 1970s, a reference to the origin of the former pharmacy.
And that sums up our latest designer pharmacy: Comtal Pharmacy, health for the whole city :)
Carlos Aires: Strategy, creativity, design and general management. Elena de Andrés: Sketches and artistic illustrations. Laura Sánchez de Pedro: Corporate image. Mercedes Robles: Topographic survey Xiang Sun: Technical design. Visual Merchandising: Comtal Pharmacy Team and Carlos Aires . Photography: Ikuo Maruyama.