You may already know that I am always harping on about fully accessible toilets and the reasons we need them (if not read this blog for starters) but aside from the fact that people are being forced to lay on dirty toilet floors, sit in their own faeces or face the indignity of being changed in the back of a car/van in full view of any passing stranger… there is another really great reason for providing fully accessible toilets.
It makes great business sense.
Really I hear you ask. But surely it’s so expensive, the insurance would be astronomical and the space needed would take away valuable retail space… blar blar blar. All excuses we hear every single time we ask a business why they don’t provide a usable toilet for our sons, daughters, sisters etc.
Here’s the thing. Why do you think businesses such as Tesco, Morrisons and Marks & Spencers provide toilets for other customers? Why do you find so many loos in a cinema?
It’s because it makes great business sense.
By providing customers with a toilet INSIDE their business, it means they don’t have to leave their business to do their business!
So we can stop what we are doing, leave our trolley of shopping for a minute, have a wee and get back to browsing and inevitably spending our money.
We can spend an extortionate amount on drinks in the cinema because we know we can nip to the loo without missing too much of the film, we might even buy another drink when we pop out.
It makes great business sense.
Those toilets are MAKING them money!
Imagine if there were no toilets in any of the stores you visit, if you needed to pop out to have a wee would you end up going back afterwards? Might you get distracted in another store and spend your money there instead?
This is the risk that every single business currently refusing to upgrade their disabled toilets is now facing.
If we are in their store and our disabled loved ones need a wee, we have no option but to leave.
And we will probably be so angry that our children/siblings/friends/clients not been catered for that we won’t go back afterwards. Although by the time we’ve found a usable toilet we will either be a few miles away or will be at home anyway!
We might risk visiting a cinema (?) but we wouldn’t spend money on a drink because if they can’t go, they can’t drink.
Remember that the people we are talking about NEVER travel alone. They might have carers with them, it might be family, it might be friends. But every single person in that group is a potential customer with money to spend, money which these businesses are missing out on by not considering the needs of the most vulnerable customer.
So next time you see a post about this issue and think its unreasonable of us to expect these big business to make adaptions, remember, it is actually in their interest to.
If they’ve seen the value in doing it for you, how long until they see the value in doing it for everyone.
If you work in retail, know anyone in a management position in a big store (one that already provides toilets for other customers) please tell them why this is a good idea for them. You never know, if it makes them more money you might even get a bonus for bringing the idea to them!!!
You could even show them this great graphic to reassure them of the size required…