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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Please, Change The Parking Lots!

Please, give me parking lots segregated by vehicle size!

Despite having been issued a Red Ford truck by Avis, I drive cars.

Not SUVs or trucks or Urban Assault Vehicles. Just cars. Preferably medium to small cars [I would love to get a Mini some day...].

However, the world around me still drives SUVs and trucks. Not a surprise given the various vehicle manufacturing statistics over the past decade.

I can deal with it. Really.

Except in parking lots!

Parking lots are possibly the most dangerous space around and the place where accidents are most likely to take place [1 in 5 accidents happen in parking lots]. So why don't parking lots owners and retailers take steps to minimize those risks?

As a car driver, I try to find spots where cars get parked. That way when I pull out, I have some visibility.

Inevitably, I'll get back to my car after a shopping expedition and find that towering trucks and SUVs surround me. Pulling out becomes the equivalent of running the gauntlet. I have no idea whether I will make it or not.

So, why can't savvy retailers change the parking lot paradigm? Consider offering spaces where cars only can park? I would expect this to become a greater opportunity to build customer loyalty as our car preferences change...

If Amtrak can offer quiet cars where no cellphone conversations can take place, and Babies R Us can offer parking spots specifically for expectant moms, then why not create a parking lot experience that minimizes risk and inconvenience and segregates the cars from the trucks?

The parking lot, by the way, is part of your customer's retail experience....

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