Is your car park turning shoppers away?

The modern shopper is spoilt for choice when it comes to retail destinations. The modern shopping experience is all about comfort, convenience and choice. If the shopping environment does not match up to the shopper’s expectations, there are other options.

For most shoppers, the retail experience begins in the car park. An open sprawling car parking facility, completely exposed to the elements can be very uncomfortable for shoppers and their families; it won’t be long before they move on to the next shopping centre. Unfortunately for the shopping centre and the many retailers housed within, this also means lost business.

Your return on investment could be adversely affected if your car park shade structures are not up to the mark. Providing a quality car park shade sends a message to your shoppers that you care about their wellbeing. Shoppers are also more likely to stay longer when they are satisfied with the overall retail experience, which in turn would attract even more shoppers and premium retailers.

Installing a car park shade at your shopping centre can increase your revenue in five key ways:

1. Attracting new shoppers who appreciate that their cars will be protected from a harsh climate;

2. Maintaining shopper loyalty;

3. Keeping shoppers at the centre longer;

4. Increasing the street appeal of the centre;

5. Decreasing tenant vacancies.

But it’s not just about putting up a shade structure in the car park. Erecting quality shade structures that are designed to suit the particular needs of the shopping centre is an essential requirement. Shopping centre owners should insist on car parking shade structures that meet their budget, safety and longevity objectives. Shade structures less resistant to vandalism and without an appropriate warranty should be avoided.

Centre owners and managers in the market for car park shade structures should factor in some important considerations when assessing designs and car parking shades suppliers:

1. Will the structure truly meet your needs, such as targeting shade over an area at certain times of the day or year?

2. Is the proposed structure secure and does it have the necessary safety clearances to ensure it cannot be accessed by unauthorised people?

3. Have you received a vandalism risk assessment from your car parking shade supplier that includes issues such as anti-climbing devices and fire-retardant fabrics?

4. Do you know how long your structure is likely to last and whether it will have features such as sealed caps and welded lugs that decrease the risk of rust damage?

5. Is it structurally sound and properly engineered by a qualified and licensed shade company that provides you with site-specific drawings and a certificate of design for your structure?

6. Have you checked that your shade supplier is suitably insured and will issue a proper warranty on your structure?

7. Has the supplier outlined their design and construction process?

By addressing these issues, shopping centre managements can ensure that their car parking shades maximise benefits for their shoppers and retailers.

Greenline Group Pty Ltd designs commercial shade structures that combine affordability with excellent design outcomes.