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Time for America’s Coolest … Restrooms?

You may hate being asked about your bathrooms. But, sometimes, people really need to ask.

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OK, SO YOU SPOKE loud and clear in our latest Big Survey (the results of which appear in our forthcoming October issue), and the No. 1 question you hate being asked most is: “Do you have a bathroom?”

I’m going to set aside semantics and assume you’re all not just really big fans of the word “lavatory” over “bathroom,” and that your real beef is the general question of whether the masses may be allowed to relieve themselves on your premises.

While you may hate it, they’re still going to have to, and they’re still going to ask.

So instead of getting into potty humor with ways to turn people away, wouldn’t you rather be able to say, “No only to we have one, it was voted America’s Best Restroom!”

That’s right. About the time America’s Coolest Stores Contest was being dreamt up, America’s Best Restroom launched. Like America’s Coolest Stores, Cintas’ America’s Best Restrooms is celebrating its 12th year, and you can vote on the finalists through Oct. 31. (Don’t confuse that with www.americascooleststores.com! That contest opens Jan. 1.)

A press release about the contest reads in part:

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“Will America decide the nation’s top toilet is indeed ‘functional art’ inspired by an Italian masterpiece on show at a Swiss museum? Perhaps it’ll be the ‘Pac Man’ potty inside the Pacific Coast arcade that prides itself on preserving the ‘golden age’ of gaming? Or will one of New York City’s most luxurious loos, a sprawling sophisticated space inside the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel, capture the crown to become America’s 2013 King of the Throne? We will soon find out as this year’s top 10 public potties compete for the coveted title of Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom.”

Let us know if you decide to enter next year. I made my way through all the previous years’ finalists, and there were some pretty spectacular ones there — certainly inspiration if you’re redoing your store and want to try a different approach to your most dreaded question. I should say too that there was not a single jewelry store among them. For shame? You decide.

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If It’s Time to Consolidate, It’s Time to Call Wilkerson

When Tom Moses decided to close one of the two Moses Jewelers stores in western Pennsylvania, it was time to call in the experts. After reviewing two candidates, Moses, a co-owner of the 72 year-old business, decided to go with Wilkerson. The sale went better than expected. Concerned about running it during the pandemic, Moses says it might have helped the sale. “People wanted to get out, so there was pent-up demand,” he says. “Folks were not traveling so there was disposable income, and we don’t recall a single client commenting to us, feeling uncomfortable. It was busy in here!” And perhaps most importantly, Wilkerson was easy to deal with, he says, and Susan, their personal Wilkerson consultant, was knowledgeable, organized and “really good.” Now, the company can focus on their remaining location — without the hassle of carrying over merchandise that either wouldn’t fit or hadn’t sold. “The decision to hire Wilkerson was a good one,” says Moses.

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