The introduction of a free first hour/ $5 second hour car parking fee structure at QVM seems to have worked with reports that customer churn figures show significant improvement. Trader observations over Easter certainly seemed to confirm that. But attracting more customers has its price with a significant reduction in car park income that could impact on market services in the future.
It doesn't take Einstein to realise that a $12 fee for 2 hours parking changing to a $5 fee for the same period (or even less if customers leave within the first hour) is going to reduce income by many thousands of dollars. Add in the fact that more people are sticking to the 2 hour limit, and the impact is significant.
We can argue about the appropriateness of charging parking fees in the first place, particularly given the fact that suburban shopping centres are largely fee free (although that is changing). Of course we are not a shopping centre (sorry, had to throw that in) and we do co-exist with some exorbitant CBD parking rates.
The fees charged at QVM are part of revenue used to pay for things like improvements to facilities and marketing. In fact one of our traders suggested this week that QVM should be promoting the car park "fee" as a protection for future generations. You know the sort of thing "Your car parking fee goes to improving our market."- a bit of marketing hype but it has some validity.
You can put this discussion under the category of "What have they ever done for us?" Well, in this case, management action has put more customers in our car park. It comes at a cost, but Traders will welcome any boost to customer flow and making QVM a more attractive shopping destination.