8/3/2016 | By Sarah Borchersen-Keto
Shoppers at select General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) malls across the country are testing a new app feature that uses heat maps enabled by GPS data to view parking availability closest to their food and retail destinations.
“Parking is the very first and very last engagement we have with our shoppers. We see great potential in our ability to develop innovative digital tools that create quality shopping experiences,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of GGP.
To check parking availability, shoppers can open a GGP app on their mobile devices and select a mall location. Parking lots at GGP properties are divided into zones of varying number and size. Based on current and historical data, the zones will be highlighted on the app in either green, yellow or red to indicate the likely availability of parking spaces.
GGP is currently testing its parking technology at four malls: Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, Illinois; Alderwood Mall, Seattle; Stonestown Galleria, San Francisco; and Ridgedale Center, Minneapolis. Following analysis of the pilot program’s performance, a broader rollout to GGP malls will occur in the third quarter of 2016.
“Mall traffic continues to rise, and during peak shopping seasons, such as holiday and back to school, parking continues to be one of the largest pain points,” said Scott Morey, executive vice president of technology and marketing at GGP. (Editor’s note: Mathrani discussed parking as a pain point for mall visitors in an interview with REIT.com last fall.)
GGP is partnering in the project with INRIX, a provider of on- and off-street parking information to automakers, transportation agencies, technology companies and drivers.