GCA’s New Bathroom Award

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 info@gardencentersofamerica.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.

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6 comments on “GCA’s New Bathroom Award

  1. Anonymous

    How about an award for the restroom you were most thankful for? I once drove nearly two hours to a garden center (opposite side of Atlanta and then some) only to find out they did not have a restroom. They did, however, have access to one across a parking lot in the back of an abandoned gas station. It looked great to me.

  2. Anonymous

    Baker’s Acres is Alexandria, Ohio has a DESTINATION bathroom. They are known for re-decorating it yearly with fun garden related themes. This is the kind of creative fun place women (and men) love to shop. May I add their music is awesome as well? I try to visit every year just to see and hear what they’re doing!

  3. Anonymous

    The Barn in Chattanooga has recently updated their bathroom, and it looks fantastic! It is clean (we all know how important that is) and it is well designed; what’s more is it gave me ideas on how to design my own bathroom! A great update to an already terrific garden center!

  4. Anonymous

    How about an award for the restroom you were most thankful for? I once drove nearly two hours to a garden center (opposite side of Atlanta and then some) only to find out they did not have a restroom. They did, however, have access to one across a parking lot in the back of an abandoned gas station. It looked great to me.

  5. Anonymous

    Baker’s Acres is Alexandria, Ohio has a DESTINATION bathroom. They are known for re-decorating it yearly with fun garden related themes. This is the kind of creative fun place women (and men) love to shop. May I add their music is awesome as well? I try to visit every year just to see and hear what they’re doing!

  6. Anonymous

    The Barn in Chattanooga has recently updated their bathroom, and it looks fantastic! It is clean (we all know how important that is) and it is well designed; what’s more is it gave me ideas on how to design my own bathroom! A great update to an already terrific garden center!