If you’ve ever watched the 12th season of Top Gear in which Jeremy Clarkson staged a car chase inside a shopping mall that included a Ford Fiesta and a Corvette, or you’ve been just wondering how do car makers get cars inside a shopping mall, no they don’t do it as Jeremy did.
Most malls these days have dedicated special drive-in points specifically designed for cars and other mall maintenance vehicles. Even though you never see it, during the closing hours, a lot is going on inside the mall.
Some shopping malls even have in-door elevators capable of carrying cars to each and every level of the shopping mall. Besides these, some malls have doors that are designed to move and make way for cars with just a press of a button in a matter of seconds.
As some car dealerships are even moving their showrooms to shopping malls, shopping malls are slowly starting to become a large shopping hub for everything. As such, the doors, the ceilings, the A/C, and many other components have to be designed appropriately.
Roll-up doors, main entry doors, special doors – The doors
Everyone knows what a door is, it is a revolving, hinged, or sliding barrier at the entrance of something like a shopping mall. There are all kinds of doors in a shopping mall ranging from super tight and claustrophobic ventilation maintenance doors, all the way up to huge roll-up doors.
Such roll-up doors are actually the main doorway as far as all the merchandise is concerned. These doors or loading docks are designed for massive merchandise, and as such, many cars are being brought through such doors.
Most of the time, they are rolled in on specific dollies or rolling mechanisms, but sometimes they are even driven inside. Besides huge roll-up doors, main entrance doors are usually equipped with clever designs and technologies that can completely change the door mechanics.
As such, these doors can sometimes fold completely, and this can make way for bulk merchandise, large items, or even cars. Some malls even have special doors on every level that are specifically designed for vehicle entry.
In-door elevators, driving corridors, rooftop entry – Solutions for bigger malls
Sometimes a simple door just can’t cut it, and you need something bigger, capable of constant in and out traffic without being in the way of anything. As such, special industrial-grade in-door elevators are designed to carry cars from one level to the other.
These elevators are not only designed for cars, but rather for every type of merchandise that is way too big and too heavy to be driven or carried around the mall. Besides a special in-door elevator, some malls are even equipped with driving corridors.
Some malls are way bigger than you think, and there are lots of rooms behind the walls that a regular customer never experiences, and these are known to sometimes house huge driving corridors for time-efficient merchandise moving.
For some older, yet more prestigious shopping malls, the only way to get a car inside is through the roof. As such, cars are sometimes carried by helicopters onto the roof or straight into the building if possible.
Cars in shopping malls – The future
Car dealerships are constantly finding new ways of attracting more customers. A vital part of dealership customer engagement strategy is to find innovative and clever ways to market a car without making it in-your-face.
As such, some car dealerships are slowly transitioning towards bringing dealerships inside shopping malls. It all started with an occasional pop-up store but is now slowly moving towards permanent car dealerships inside the mall.
Some high-street shopping malls are perfect spots for car dealerships because they attract lots of people with money and interest in luxury. As such, a luxury brand car dealership is more likely to fetch a customer or two when compared to just sitting in the middle of nowhere.
Unofficially, the shopping mall car dealership trend was started by none other than good old Elon of the Musk back in 2012. Shopping malls attract loads of people, and the best way to promote your brand is to be visible among all the other reputable brands out there.
What’s the difference between a mall and a shopping center?
A shopping center is usually a building or a couple of building that house a variety of stores, while a mall is typically a shopping mall that can be either on a pedestrian street, a shopping mall, or something like a strip mall.
The most obvious difference is that almost all shopping centers out there are enclosed buildings specifically built and designed to be shopping centers. A mall on the other hand can be an opened building or an opened street for example.
Are car dealerships even necessary?
We live in strange times thanks to Covid, and many traditional businesses are moving away from the norm. If you pair that with the fact that internet shopping is slowly taking over, one might wonder if there is any sense in owning a full-fledged car dealership anymore.
Some might even argue that the promotional work being done in shopping malls is a lot more valuable than the one being done in a dealership. It might just be that the costs of maintaining a car dealership are simply not worth it anymore, and that online marketing and selling might be the better option.
What type of car is best for shopping trips?
If you are the type of guy who enjoys going on shopping holidays, you ought to find a car that is practical enough, and reasonably comfortable. Shopping for an estate/wagon or an SUV is the obvious way to go if you want to maximize the available cargo space.
You should also opt for a car equipped with a cargo cover, such a piece of equipment is necessary if you want to maximize safety. A minivan is also a fairly good option, especially so if you plan on taking your entire family on a shopping trip.