Shopping on a busy day is a stressful enough experience even without worrying about where to park, so one Minnesota mall wants to make it a little bit easier for customers.
The Ridgedale Center, in Minnetonka, is one of four General Growth Properties (GGP) malls to be selected as pilot locations for the company's new app that lets shoppers find an empty parking spot, according to a press release.
Rather than driving aimlessly around lot filled with hundreds and hundreds of cars hoping to find the perfect empty space, the new app will use heat maps generated by GPS data to show open parking spaces closest to shoppers' favorite stores and restaurants.
"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," GGP's Scott Morey said.
"Parking is the very first and very last engagement we have with our shoppers," he added. "We see great potential in our ability to develop innovative digital tools that create quality shopping experiences."
Users can select the mall they're visiting and the parking lots will show up as green, yellow and red depending on how full they are.
The Ridgedale Center is one of the most visited malls in Minnesota and has recently expanded its floor space by 50,000 feet.
This included the opening of new anchor store Nordstrom – the department chain's second Minnesota location – last October.
The Star Tribune reported that the Mall of America started using mobile technology to help people park five years ago, but that was mainly by posting parking updates on its website and Twitter feeds to show how congested they are.