Mobile apps for reserving paid parking spaces in preferred locations are popping up in U.S. malls and Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in New York is the most recent shopping center to go live with MyPark, reported the New York Post. Also new to the MyPark app: the Mall of Georgia and St. Johns Town Center in Florida, according to the MyPark website.
MyPark reports that its app is now available for a total of 15 shopping centers or public garages including, Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets; the Florida Mall, Orlando International Premium Outlets, Dadeland Mall, The Falls and Pelican Garage in Florida; Plaza Carolina; PR Premium Outlets and Plaza Las Americas in Puerto Rico; Lenox Square in Georgia; Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey; and the Mall of America in Minnesota.
The Towson Town Center in Maryland is using a related system from Park Assist, Westfield Century Mall in Los Angeles has similar tech from Chauntry Parkspace. Mobile Now and Parking Panda are two other companies using mobile technology to help people find parking spaces.
With average mall vacancy rates inching up toward the double digits, shopping center owner-operators are looking for every chance to increase promotional opportunities, raise revenues and draw more customers. Parking apps like MyPark that make premium parking spaces available near mall entrances at a price are low-hanging fruit.
MyPark is not the only app creator in this space, but the company is the most adept at getting publicity for its recent implementations, whether in its home state of Florida or Minnesota’s Mall of America. And that promotional spark is part of the appeal to malls and retailers.
Word-of-mouth is another benefit. The Towson Town Center saw the average time shoppers spend looking for parking spaces decline by 44% after going live with Park Assist, and the number of customers looking for a space for more than five minutes has gone down by 12%, according to an earlier report in the Baltimore Sun.
The MyPark app allows customers to reserve spaces ahead of time and then pay through the app, with the most common rate being $3 for the first two hours and $3 for each additional hour, according to the firm’s website. After installing the app, the first use is free using the code “MYPARK1,” and a credit card is required for subsequent uses. There is a convenience fee for using the service that is displayed in the app. This is an alternative to valet parking, or taking a chance finding a good spot in the free areas on a busy shopping day.
Shoppers can reserve spaces when they arrive at the mall, a few minutes or hours beforehand, or up to six months in advance, if they can plan such trips. For instance, some are already reserving spots for Black Friday, MyPark CEO Luis Mayendia told the New York Post. Mayendia said he is signing up two malls a month and hopes to expand into airports and hospitals.