First Round: Toilet humour

This summer, Avedon Capital Partners bought a stake in 2theloo, a chain of ‘toilet stores’ that started in Amsterdam in 2011 and now has around 100 outlets (so to speak) across eight countries, typically located in city centres, gas stations, train stations and shopping malls. The company says that it wants to open 2,500 stores worldwide within the next three to five years. 

The idea behind 2theloo is to offer its customers “refreshing restroom shops”, according to the company’s 
website. “You’ve been there … You’re out and about and looking for a clean restroom. Not an easy task!” (a sentiment with which First Round is painfully familiar – but the less said about that unfortunate episode, the better).

The company promises “always clean” restrooms, and says that it “strives to provide you with the best service and a pleasant, clean restroom experience …  In addition, we’ll surprise you with special restroom designs by artists, illustrators, and sculptors.” In general, First Round prefers as few surprises as possible when performing its ablutions, but each to their own.

What’s more, 2theloo is attempting to garner some ancillary revenues courtesy of an attached shop selling toiletries, gifts and gadgets and “sometimes even a coffee corner” – the idea presumably being that you can grab a latte and a Slinky to keep you amused while you’re using the facilities.  

First Round is already seeing a raft of other upselling opportunities. A newspaper dispenser? A JV with iTunes for mood music? The mind simply bog-gles.