A1 Journal article – refereed
When nature calls: The role of customer toilets in retail stores

List of Authors: Piha Samuel, Räikkönen Juulia
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Volume number: 36
eISSN: 1873-1384


The scarce previous literature indicates that the customer toilet facilities influence shopping value and should be a concern for retailers. However, customer toilets are often inadequately capitalised in retail stores. This study aims to provide a scientifically robust argument about the critical role of customer toilets in retail stores. The explanatory survey data (n=655) from a Finnish out-of-town department store is examined to explore (1) the importance that consumers place on the customer toilets and (2) the effect of toilet usage on actual shopping behaviour. The results support the assumptions of previous literature by suggesting that customer toilets are considered as an important store attribute and, more importantly, the use of toilets is associated with prolonged in-store time which, in turn, increases spending. The findings offer both academic and managerial contribution and encourage academics and practitioners to regard customer toilets as more than mere an unwanted property expense and discover their full marketing potential.

Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 20:21

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