I was reading in the news last week that a Woolworths store in Sydney was going to charge customers $65 for parking if they stayed more than 1 hour (This is a grocery store people!). I though that was insane, but it gets worse! The rate went up to $95 for 2 hours and $125 for 3 hours if you stay overnight. There is no way anyone will pay that and I expect that people will boycott the store just to prove a point. In fact, ever since the main shopping complex around where I live decided to charge for parking, I stopped going to that shopping center, and in the last 2 years or so since it got implemented I have only been there about 5 or 6 times.

Anyway, I am left to ponder who dreams up these kind of ideas? I mean don’t businesses want people to come to them to spend their money? Isn’t this entirely counter productive to that goal? I personally would never pay such a high amount of money for parking and would just take my business elsewhere.

This whole thing has me thinking though. Obviously the reason why they charge for parking is because they don’t want people who aren’t going to shop with them to use the parking. After all, it is in the middle of the city where parking is at a premium. Perhaps a better solution is to provide free parking for those people who actually use the shops, and give them some sort of token that waives the fee on exit. I personally would not have as much of a problem with this. I know they provide 1 hour free, but if you have a big shop to do and checkout lines are big, it is entirely possible that you could take just a little over an hour and get stung for it.

What do you think? Is this just a cash grab? Would you shop there with these high parking prices?