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Tuesday
Nov012011

The Bathroom: A DESTINATION at Your Local C-Store

I’m not one to spend a lot of time inside a convenience store, but one thing has been constant:  when I’m away from home and I gotta go, a convenience store bathroom is usually my best option.  Aside from gas, it’s what gets me in the store; it’s my primary DESTINATION.  Once I’ve finished, I am more likely to shop around to pick up a beverage or a snack—unless the bathroom facilities gave me the big case of the heebie-jeebies.

Now, to be honest, I’ve only been that grossed out by public bathrooms a couple of times, but that experience had me high-tailing out the door, without spending any money.  After all, if the bathroom is unsanitary, what about the stuff inside the store?  My perception of those locations drove my decision –and possibly future decisions—of whether or not to go there again.

Now that I have a child, clean restrooms are even more important to me.  I’m looking for restrooms with changing stations, mopped floors ( I have to put my diaper bag and car seat down, after all), and plenty of soap, among other things.  I want no chance of my baby getting anything but a new diaper during my visit there.  I’m sure other women, including mothers, share the same sentiment—and that can affect your in-store sales, as well as repeat visits.  Remember, word of mouth travels fast, especially among the mommy crowd. 

So back to the issue of a customer’s perception of your store…what kinds of things do visitors look for that leave a good impression of your store, other than what I’ve already mentioned? 

  • Freshly scrubbed toilets (inside and out)
  • Hands-free flushing, faucets, soap dispensers and dryers
  • Air freshener
  • No towels or tissues on the floor
  • No broken locks on the stall
  • Well lit and ventilated
  • Hand sanitizer
  •  Handicap bars and railings for elderly and disabled patrons 

Do your bathrooms measure up?  Are you cleaning them regularly and making repairs immediately?

Convenience Store Decisions magazine published a great article last year called “What Do Your Restrooms Say About You?”  It gives some great examples of how convenience stores have taken the topic of restroom sanitation and improved their own businesses—and stole competition from the restaurant down the street, another key competitor in this arena.

So help me out; make your store AND restroom a destination of choice for me and the other mommies out there—and increase your customer loyalty and sales at the same time!

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