Garden Centers of America (GCA) recently announced a new award recognizing garden centers with outstanding restrooms. According to David Williams, GCA President, one of the most important elements in the operation of a garden center is the restrooms. The customer base for independent garden centers is estimated to be 80 percent women, and one of the elements appreciated by women is a clean, fresh and well-designed restroom.
In the recent best seller by Paco Underhill, “What Women Want,” convenient and clean restrooms ranked very high in a woman’s decision of where to shop, Williams says. Underhill writes: “If you think about every major new hotel or restaurant, you realize that having a fantastic women’s bathroom is a design statement that creates buzz.”
The GCA Bathroom Awards will be presented at the GCA Annual Meeting and Luncheon held on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the IGC Show in Chicago. The top award to be presented is the “Best of the Best Award” and the recipient will receive a plaque and a complimentary registration for the 2011 GCA Holiday Tour in Detroit this fall and for the 2012 GCA Summer Tour in San Francisco. Other recognition will be a Gold Award, Silver Award and several Awards of Merit. These winners will also be recognized at the Awards Luncheon during the IGC Show with an appropriate plaque.
Underhill, who has been called a retail visionary, will deliver the IGC Celebrity Keynote address at 9 a.m. that same morning, Aug. 18, at the IGC Show.
To enter the competition, garden centers should send the name of their store, address, and a contact person at the store for questions, as well as their telephone and eMail address. Also several pictures of the bathroom saved in jpeg file format should be sent in with a brief paragraph about the bathroom, why is it designed the way it is and its benefit at the garden center. The information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The DEADLINE for ENTRY is 5 p.m. (EDST) July 15, 2011.
Judges will review the photographs and paragraph description and judge the entries on creativity and comfort to the customer’s overall shopping experience. All independent garden centers are eligible to enter. Membership in GCA is not required to enter the contest.