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Go to the toilet to grow business

  • Angela May

A new survey is highlighting how provision of suitable toilets can prove an attraction to potential customesilverburnrs.

The survey, undertaken by Closomat, Britain’s leading provider of accessible toilet equipment for domestic and on-domestic environments, looked at the influencing factors for disabled people when they are away from home- particularly their ability to find somewhere suitable to ‘go’.

Many disabled people(*) maintain the Regulatory (Document M type) wheelchair-accessible toilet is inaccessible to them: it doesn’t give enough space, nor appropriate fixtures and fittings to help them and their carer(s) transfer, or be transferred, safely, from a wheelchair, or be hygienic with their intimate care.

Headline figures are:
- 91% of respondents said how long they spend ‘out’ is dictated by suitable toilets
- 69% said where they go is usually or always influenced by toilet suitability
- 87% had left somewhere early because of lack of suitable toilets
- 82% were more likely to visit somewhere if they believed it had suitable toilets
- 96% said it affected their decision on where to go.

The changes/ equipment they need, but lack, are:
- Space: 52%
- A means of lifting (eg hoist): 23%
- Somewhere to be changed (adult sized changing bench): 24%

And the places they would most like to see toilets that included more space, a hoist and changing bench (aka a Changing Places or Space to Change toilet) are:
- Town centres: 87%
- Supermarkets: 71%
- Pubs, bars, restaurants: 69%
- tourist attractions: 69%

“One in five of the British population is registered disabled,” explains Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager. “The survey highlights how something as basic as being able to go to the toilet when out and about influences someone’s decision in where to go- whether it’s to do the weekly shop, retail therapy, have a drink with friends, or enjoy a day out. It shows that a facility so often taken for granted by able people- is a major factor for people with limitations, and those who care for, assist and support them, when away from home. The ‘purple’ market is worth £249billion: that’s a lot of potential revenue, and profit, to be missing out on, just because you are preventing people from visiting you by lack of suitable toilets.”

Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD