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St. Charles Meijer proposes pharmacy drive-thru pickup at store's front

Plan commission provides preliminary approval

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ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Plan Commission recommended on May 8 that the City Council approve Meijer's plan for a new drive-thru pharmacy lane for its store at 855 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

The original plan the city approved in 1999 for the Meijer store included a proposed pharmacy drive-thru on the north side of the store. Now, Meijer wants to change the intended location to the east side of the store, on the north end of the building.

Craig Armstrong, an architect for Meijer, said that since the pharmacy is on the northeast side of the store, “keying the drive-thru in that vicinity is what we'd like to do.”

The drive-thru would feature an overhead fast-track delivery system of pharmacy products to the customer window.

People going into the garden center on the north end of the Meijer building would have to walk in front of the drive-thru lane to enter the store. Plan commissioners asked why Meijer officials prefer an east-side drive-thru lane rather than a north one, expressing concerns about traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

“Putting it at the front of the building for maximum visibility is important for Meijer,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong added that Meijer is seeking an increase in the size of signs indicating the location and side of the store of the Home section, which includes the pharmacy, lawn and garden and health and beauty departments, and the Fresh section, featuring groceries.

“The bigger the signs will prevent customer confusion,” said Meijer architect Al Leavitt. “People then know which side to go into.”

Additional signage Meijer requested would alert drivers and pedestrians nearing the crossing in front of the pharmacy drive-thru.

Plan Commissioner Tom Schuetz asked whether other Meijer stores currently have drive-thru pharmacy lanes.

“We have a drive-thru pharmacy at all our new stores,” Leavitt said, adding that they total about 50 including one at the Oswego Meijer.