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parking lot
(Via Shutterstock)

Searching for a great parking spot at the mall can be a bit of a challenge, especially during busier shopping seasons. Now a new tool using technology from Kirkland, Wash.-based INRIX will help shoppers spend less time circling the lot and more time in their favorite stores.

INRIX, makers of traffic-data tools, has partnered with General Growth Properties (GGP), owners and managers of retail properties across the United States, including Alderwood Mall near Seattle.

An industry-first parking feature has been added to the GGP app (App Store, Google Play) that uses heat maps enabled by GPS data to show open parking spaces closest to shoppers’ favorite stores or restaurants.

To instantly view parking availability, GGP says in a news release that shoppers simply open the app on their iOS or Android device, select a mall location and choose the parking option to view availability. GGP is testing the technology through a pilot program at three other malls besides Alderwood: Oakbrook Center (Oak Brook, Ill.); Stonestown Galleria (San Francisco); and Ridgedale Center (Minneapolis).

GGP app parking tool
A screen shot of GGP’s parking application in its mobile app. (Via GGP)

“We’re always looking for opportunities to incorporate technology into our retail real estate to elevate the shopping experience,” said Scott Morey, executive vice president of technology and marketing at GGP. “Providing more options for parking and promoting valet services are two ways we’re freeing up parking spaces for our shoppers. Combined with our new technology, our solutions are leading the way in providing mall shoppers with convenient and reliable parking.”

GGP relied on the INRIX parking database to power the new service, as it includes more than 29 million off-street spaces in 65 countries — making it a comprehensive source for parking intelligence.

“Parking is a major pain point in our daily lives, whether going to work, out to dinner or shopping,” said David Weld, general manager of enterprise at INRIX. “GGP’s new mobile app powered by INRIX is an innovative approach to provide timely, relevant parking information to enhance the mall shopping experience.”

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