Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good idea for mall management

I went to West Mall today and I must confess that I am impressed with whoever has the idea for the escalator arrangement. The Mall is roughly a rectangle and runs two stacks of escalator at the opposite long side. It used to be set such that one stack is for going up while the other stack is for going down. In this set up, the shoppers simply walk along a side to reach the escalator for continuing their trips up or down.

Today I saw the escalator being set in a crisscrossing manner. The escalator on the next level is running to the opposite direction of the previous level. In short, the shoppers has to circle one short side and one long side of the Mall to reach the escalator to the next level. Hence, the shoppers are required to pass through 50% of the shop in one level just to get to another level regardless of whether they are going up or going down! It is a simple but really good idea, for the retailers of course.

As for the shoppers, they have to travel far longer than they are used to. In fact, more than twice the previous distance, as previously one only need to go through one of the short side.

Who wins here? I guess both as the shoppers who need to reach the level would normally know where they want to go and they shouldn't really mind the extra trips while the shop owners are also happier (especially shop owners at the long side of the Mall) since more shoppers pass their way (although most will not go into their shops, at least higher chance of having shoppers). The definite winner is clear, the Mall management, for satisfying the shop owners while not terribly turning away the shoppers.

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