Customers will walk further than store Employees


Customers will walk further than store Employees

The city of Vacaville, CA, had a parking survey done and the result was typical. Readers of this blog could tell you the answers to all the questions without going to the trouble to ask the local merchants and residents. However one question did get an answer that I think is telling, and worth repeating:

… TJKM uncovered in a survey that asked business owners, their employees and customers the greatest distance they would be willing to walk from a parking space to their destination. Business owners and their staffs said zero to 900 feet, “with an average of 375 feet or slightly more than one city block,” TJKM’s report says. Customers, meanwhile, said they’d walk “100 to 1,500 feet … for an average of approximately 600 feet.”

These are the very people who are complaining about the shopping centers at the edge of town – The merchants and their employees. Yet they are unwilling to walk a couple of blocks to let their customers have the best parking spaces. (there is an underused parking lot near the edge of town that would be perfect for employees, but note the adjective “underused.”)

At most shopping centers, employees are forbidden to take spaces close in to the stores. They must park around the edges of the parking facility, or on lower levels in the parking structure under the center, leaving choice spots for customers. In many cases it’s a firing offense to take a close in parking spot. And in many of those centers, the employee parking area is more than 1500 feet from the stores.

These merchants and employees are spoiled, and frankly deserve whatever their desperate need for close in parking might bring.


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John Van Horn

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