Americans Want Touchless Fixtures

Concerns about germs spur demand for automatic water faucets in public restrooms.

April 30, 2020

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wisc.—As the nation plans to “reopen” for business, new research finds that Americans are more concerned about making contact with germs in retail stores than in hospitals/health-care facilities, restaurants and workplaces.

The survey, conducted by Bradley Corp., a manufacturer of commercial plumbing and washroom fixtures, on April 6 and 7, found that 70% of Americans are “extremely” or “very concerned” about contracting coronavirus, particularly millennials and baby boomers.

The aversion to disease-causing germs may be why the vast majority are looking for touchless hand-washing fixtures in washrooms. In fact, 91% of Americans believe it’s extremely important or somewhat important that public restrooms are equipped with touchless fixtures.

According to the survey, 60% said that their preference for touchless hand-washing fixtures has risen a great deal since the pandemic, and an additional 30% said their preference has increased somewhat as they avoid contact with washroom surfaces. 

“Making everything touchless is now the most-requested improvement,” said Jon Dommisse, director of strategy and corporate development, Bradley Corp. “In December 2019, the most desired upgrade was keeping restrooms cleaner and better stocked. In both cases, it’s clear that Americans have grown aware of germ hot spots in restrooms.”

In the wake of coronavirus, the survey also found that Americans have altered their hand-washing habits:

·       90% say they are washing their hands more frequently or more thoroughly or longer.

·       78% are washing their hands six or more times a day—only 37% washed up that often prior to the outbreak. Out of all age groups, Gen Xers are the most likely to wash their hands that frequently.

·       77% are washing their hands for at least 20 seconds.

“Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 outbreak has had a dramatic effect on Americans’ hand-washing behavior, and it appears those shifts will stick around for a while,” said Dommisse. “In fact, 88% believe they are extremely or somewhat likely to maintain their increased hand-washing regimen once the virus has passed.”

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.