Parking Affects Retail Profits

ParkingRetailers are aware that consumers’ fast-paced lifestyles demand a certain level of convenience during their shopping experience. Customers want to be able to walk through your doors, find the product(s) they need and checkout without hassle, wasting a lot of time or spending too much money. The good news is that this desired experience is within your control as you plan your store layout, select you inventory, set your pricing and employ a customer-friendly staff. Yet there are elements outside your store affecting your traffic flow and ultimately, your bottom line. As city centers look for paid parking profits, retailers are quickly losing their convenience and curbside appeal.

For this very reason downtown businesses, including the independent retailers lining the many Main Streets nationwide, have begun to voice their opinions to their local governments. Lynchburg, VA, for instance, recently plagued by the threat of paid parking, caused business owners to band together in a battle for survival. News station ABC13 reported on the recent showdown between downtown business owners and the city parking authority, saying, “Downtown business say paid parking can drive people away from the downtown. The owner of Celebration downtown says the meters are not user-friendly and scare away business. The owner of the White Hart Café says his customer base is college students, and on a tight budget they won’t come downtown if they have to pay to park.” And while these business owners worried about parking inconveniences, including meters and limited spots, put forth a strong effort in petitioning, there are resolutions you may want to consider to put the control back in your hands.

Parking Resolutions for Better Profit

Below are a few of the resolutions offered up by Kathryn Hawkins, Intuit blogger. What works best for your store and the parking situation on the street in which your storefront sits?

1) Offer to validate parking. If they make a purchase you pay for part or all of their parking.

2) Provide directions and parking details on your website. If you have limited parking outside your store and have a B2C site that helps you communicate with your customer, then it might be a good idea to offer up directions to available parking on your website. You don’t want them driving by and then deciding to turn back home without ever stepping in your store.

3) Lease parking space from a neighboring business. If the neighboring business has some available spaces or perhaps some traffic downtime, it might be a good idea to lease the parking area for your customers who otherwise would be without a spot.

To learn more parking resolutions, click HERE.