FTT Foundation Tip: Give Women the Gift of Restroom Respect for Happy Returns

Share Article

A 2013 holiday shopping study reveals 70 percent of shoppers say good customer service is the primary reason they will be loyal to stores they purchased from last year. To help convert female patrons into loyal customers, new research from FTT Foundation suggests there is a golden opportunity waiting in the women’s restroom.

FTT Foundation 2013 women's study

Highlights of U.S. women's study by Harris Interactive on behalf of FTT Foundation in August 2013, show why girls and women like restroom respect. .

“While it’s not openly discussed, when women get ambushed by their period in public, it can trigger a variety of emotions and inconveniences,” says entrepreneur Nancy Kramer, founder of the FTT Foundation.

As retailers, restaurants and resorts pull out the stops to deliver top-notch customer service and inspire loyalty this holiday season, FTT Foundation points out many businesses are dropping the ball in the women’s restroom. And here’s the reason why: Not all restrooms are created equal; some have everything women need, and others don’t “go with the flow.”

The truth is, nearly 100 million U.S. women* have unexpectedly started their period in public without a tampon or pad—a situation that has the potential to leave a humiliating scar. Consequently, a social good movement called FreeTheTampons.org is raising consciousness about the gender blind spot persistent in women’s restrooms so that tampons and/or pads will soon be as accessible as toilet paper.

“While it’s not openly discussed, when women get ambushed by their period in public, it can trigger a variety of emotions and inconveniences,” says entrepreneur Nancy Kramer, founder of the FTT Foundation and responsible for Free The Tampons social good movement. “So, here’s the key takeaway, and it actually relates to customer service: A simple act of kindness, such as providing feminine care supplies in restrooms, is a significant nod of respect truly appreciated by girls and women alike,” adds Kramer.

The Wow Factor of Periodic Support
Commissioned by the FTT Foundation, a national online study by Harris Interactive of more than 1,000 U.S. women ages 18 and older on August 14-16, 2013, shines a light on a few of the reasons why female-able restrooms are universally appealing (see info graphic for study highlights).

When asked how they felt or would feel if they noticed that a public women’s restroom provided tampons or pads for free, many expressed positive sentiments, ranging from relief that a supply would be available to revelations that it should be the norm. Verbatim responses further illustrate a golden opportunity to charm female customers of all ages:

  •     “I would be grateful and I would probably go to that place more often” -- 20-year-old woman
  •     “I have actually had this happen once or twice. I was incredibly impressed and felt much more positively towards the business whose bathroom I was using. It was a wonderful surprise, and I also felt that it was a very thoughtful and classy gesture. I told everyone I knew about it!” -- 27-year-old woman
  •     “I would frequent that place more often because I would feel they cared about the customer more.” -- 41-year-old woman
  •     “This place really cares about its customers.” -- 59-year-old woman

Fix What’s Broken
The study also exposed that only 8 percent of women ages 18-54 had encountered tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers that work all the time in public restrooms. And even if machines consistently worked, modern society’s shift from cash and coins to credit and debit cards make change-only machines an out-of-date solution.

“Free The Tampons isn’t about mandating public places to provide tampons and pads. Rather, it’s about seizing an opportunity to demonstrate dignity and respect to women,” explains Kramer. “So, on behalf of our daughters and women from coast to coast, I am ‘going here’ to inform the powers that be that women of all ages are grateful for periodic support in public restrooms.”

Share Good Cheer in Twittersphere
Using Twitter, women from all over the U.S. have been expressing their admiration for businesses that “keep it classy” with feminine hygiene supplies provided in the women’s restroom, including:

  •     Cork Food & Wine in Columbus, OH
  •     Hyatt House in Pittsburgh, PA
  •     Twitter Headquarters in Mountain View, CA

To fuel the movement, women can reciprocate their respect to places that provide freely accessible feminine hygiene products in restrooms. While out amid the holiday hustle and throughout the New Year, share via Twitter—@freethetampons Yes, they’re free here!—in tweets along with the name of the business and the city where it’s located with the hashtag #freethetamponsyea.

About FTT Foundation

The Columbus, Ohio-based FTT Foundation is a privately funded non-profit organization (tax-exemption pending) committed to changing the existing social norm, so that tampons and pads are accessible in public restrooms, just like toilet paper. For more information, find us on Facebook or visit FreeTheTampons.org.

*79% of U.S. women ages 18 and older have started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they needed. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 120,728,000 women over age 18 in the U.S. Therefore, 79*120,728,000 = 95,375,120 U.S. women who have started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they needed.

Survey methodology: This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Free The Tampon Foundation on August 14-16, 2013, of 1,072 U.S. females ages 18 and older. Among these, 661 are women ages 18-54 and 653 are women ages 18-54 who’ve ever started their period. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data has been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jennifer McLaughlin
Visit website