Tuesday, January 8, 2013

'Go-for-Goldilocks' - Free Parking Not the Best Way to Attract Shoppers?


Parking is not the main reason people go shopping, in fact it is well down the list, but retailers would make you think that it is the only thing that is between them and oblivion.

The best option, is to 'Go-for-Goldilocks'.  That is change your pricing and/or restrictions to get the right number of cars in the right number of spaces.

You may have read a previous blog where I mentioned that if you have an overload situation, as you do in many suburban malls, having cars circulating in car parks does NOT increase the number of shoppers; you have shoppers plus motorists waiting to be shoppers, and hating the experience being provided.

The best way to approach parking for shoppers is to get the time restriction right and then to enforce that.  You can get more shoppers by turning your parking bays over faster, not by increased queuing.

Free Parking Not the Best Way to Attract Shoppers?

Kevin Warwood


  1. From a city where parking is not paid for by the Parker, this article is quite interesting to me. In fact as I sit and type, my wife told me about her mother, who has planned a vacation, might now cancel a resort stay because her guests will be required to pay for parking. Its these kind of prevailing comments that merchants hear from customers that incite their defensive posture regarding pay parking programs. Question is, how to combat it...

  2. Hi Mark, I agree. We tend to say these things to the shopkeepers and those shopkeepers do repeat it. It would be interesting to hear if your mother-in-law did actually change her plans because of the parking in the end.


  3. Yes, she did. However, I think there is some other unstated reason.