With Christmas in sight and lockdown over, many shopping centres and malls will be bursting with patrons raring to shop, dine and be entertained.
In an article published by the Herald Sun*, it was reported that a carpark in Melbourne is always so full there is no room for people who want to shop. One customer actually said “I feel like I’m being forced to go to other places. It’s such a good place to shop but I’m not happy about this. I just want to be able to park and do my shopping.” If this is happening in one Australian city, it’s almost certainly happening in Sydney and Brisbane too.
Car bays clearly marked for their intended purpose e.g. parents with prams, disabled parking, parking limits will ensure efficiency and a space for all intended patrons.
According to research conducted in 2013 for the International Council of Shopping Centres into consumer behaviour in Australian shopping centres, most shoppers spend on average one to two hours in a shopping centre”.**
There may be a number of store employees or non-customers parking all day in the prime parking spaces reserved for instore customers.
We have a busy Mum who has a window between 12:30-2:30pm on a weekday to spend at her local shopping centre. She has her 10-month-old baby with her and her two year old son.
She plans to do some grocery shopping, pick up her dry cleaning, buy a birthday cake and card for her husband, AND if her two year old behaves himself, she has also promised him a treat from his favourite toy shop. Mum is efficient and organised, she knows she’ll have all this done in time to pick up her two older children from school at 3pm.
She’s been looking forward to hitting the shops, the recent lockdown has been trying! Oh, and while looking at shirts for her husband’s gift, she plans on picking up a few luxurious items to spoil herself with as well.
Mum makes her way into the shopping centre car park and oh wow, it’s extremely busy today. No car parks in her favourite spots, no problem, she figures she’ll just drive to the next level up and look there. Nope, nothing available there, she continues up, and so on until she is forced to start making her way back down again and look for a spot which has recently become available. NOTHING! She keeps driving around until her children lose patience and start crying. She eventually finds a car space back on the top level, a far walk from the shopping centre entrance.
By the time Mum straps her baby into her pram and is in the centre, 45 minutes has lapsed! Ok, shopping time has significantly been reduced and it’s the bare essentials only that will be purchased today!
Make it simple for your shoppers to spend time and money in your centre by giving them clearly defined parking spaces. If they are spending half their time looking for a car park or walking long distances to get to their destination with their own daily challenges, you may be losing customer spend, and even worse, repeat customers.
Could your car park make it easier for customers to spend money? Some simple changes may be all that it takes to give your customers the opportunity to spend less time in the car park and more time in your centre!