Retail Week Awards 2017: John Bell & Croyden’s revamp fit for a queen

Described as a ‘revamp fit for a queen’ by Retail Week magazine, John Bell & Croyden was last night awarded Realys New Store of the Year at the Retail Week Awards 2017, seeing off competition from John Lewis, Jigsaw, B&Q, and Mamas & Papas to name a few.

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The historical central London pharmacy, holder of the Royal Warrant, underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2015. A health and wellbeing destination, it caters to the evolving healthcare needs of its patients, exuding high quality within luxurious surroundings.

John Bell & Croyden is part of Celesio UK and the LloydsPharmacy family, commenting on the award win, Cormac Tobin, Managing Director of Celesio UK & Ireland, says: “I am incredibly proud of the entire team behind the John Bell & Croyden refit; this award acknowledges the dedicated hard work my truly passionate colleagues demonstrated throughout the refurbishment.

“Previously the store was uninspiring, but now I believe John Bell & Croyden is the future of pharmacy; it is an icon in its field and we want our vision to set the new standard for pharmacies all over the world. We have created theatre where customers can access healthcare and shop in a world-class health and wellbeing emporium, but the refurbishment is not just about aesthetics.

“John Bell & Croyden showcases how pharmacy should be interacting with patients; its dedicated first care clinics and professional pharmacy teams engage with patients with authenticity and authority. It’s a pharmacy that invests time into its patients and customers; recognising their needs and delivering them in an informed and efficient manner in beautiful surroundings.”

With history dating back more than 200 years when John Bell opened his first pharmacy, the Wigmore Street store was opened in 1912. The refurbishment has stripped back tired store fittings and installed period style features sympathetic to the original ornate columns and cornices. On display in store are previously archived pharmaceutical tools and storage vessels, some of which date back over 100 years. It also holds the Royal Warrant, it is the pharmacy to the Queen, and by linking the two, John Bell & Croyden provides a museum experience by allowing customers to lose themselves in the history of royalty and pharmacy.

The new store has dedicated an area for the Betterlife independent and mobility living aid offering. This gives customers more options to test and try-out mobility products before buying them; there is even a mounted British Jaguar XF car boot on the wall so customers can see how larger mobility products can fit into their cars.

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Judges congratulated the team on how “pharmacy is a very difficult sector to bring alive with a really incredible experience, but John Bell & Croyden has done it”, and commented that “this is truly unique and the way they have done the redesign has been fantastic. I love the authority it has given the place”.

Robin Winfield, Operations Director at John Bell & Croyden, adds: “The challenge throughout the refurbishment was to remain sympathetic to the store’s heritage, but providing customers and patients with a contemporary twist to engage them throughout the shopping experience. I believe we have been successful in tying its heritage and the needs of the modern customer together.

“The pharmacy remained open during the refit and I want to personally thank all of my colleagues at John Bell & Croyden for the incredible work they did in maintaining the store and keeping it open as normal during the build.

“The award win is fantastic and definitely deserved; even after a year since we reopened I’m still amazed at how wonderful it looks. I’m very excited to see how John Bell & Croyden progresses in the future.”

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As well as promoting pharmaceutical expertise, the award-winning John Bell & Croyden offers unparalleled access to advice, consultations and products alongside non-invasive cosmetic treatments including dental hygienists, osteopaths and chiropodists.