In an unprecedented move expected to upset shoppers, the Mall of Cyprus will charge visitors for parking from September 1.
“To make better use of the available parking space and serve its visitors more efficiently, the Mall of Cyprus is implementing the new, automatic, paperless Sensipark system from September 1,” the mall announced.
The mall’s administration said visitors would be given two hours of free parking to do their shopping and charged for any time spent parked above that.
If the duration of the visit to the Mall of Cyprus is over 2 hours, the amount to be paid will be automatically calculated and displayed on a screen at the payment terminal at the exits of the parking lot.
“The payment process for visitors will be fast, seamless, and easy.
“Once the payment is processed, the parking gates will automatically open, and guests will be able to exit,” the Mall of Cyprus said.
The system records your car number plates and arrival time when you enter the parking lot.
At the end of your visit, drive your car to one of the parking lot exits.
The barrier will open automatically if your visit lasts less than 2 hours.
If the duration of your visit is longer, the amount to be paid will be displayed on the screen of the payment terminal.
Present your Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay or Google Pay at the terminal and proceed to contactless payment. The parking bars will open automatically.
Visitors who spend a minimum of €10 at IKEA or the Mall will be granted an additional hour of free parking.
The ‘innovative’ decision is not expected to go down well with consumers, who usually go to malls with their families, making a day out of their visit.
Malls offer refuge on hot summer days, offering consumers shopping options for playgrounds and restaurants.
Mall of Cyprus’ general manager Kypros Hadjistillis told the Financial Mirror the decision was taken to clamp down on misuse of the parking spaces by non-visitors.
“We have recorded some people parking their cars at the mall, or IKEA, to hop on an inter-city bus at the nearby bus station, leaving their vehicles there for more than 12 hours,” said Hadjistillis.
He added that hundreds of football fans going to matches at the nearby GSP stadium leave their cars at the parking for hours.
“In order to protect our clients, who have complained that on several occasions they were not able to find a parking space, we had to take tough decisions.”
When asked whether the mall is concerned about losing customers, as this is a first for Cyprus and shopping centres, Hadjistillis pointed out that this is common practice in European malls.
“It is very likely that more malls will follow in our footsteps,” said Hadjistillis.
Up to 2 HOURS FREE
Up to 3 HOURS €1.50
Up to 4 HOURS €2.00
Up to 5 HOURS €2.50
Up to 6 HOURS €3.00
Over 6 HOURS €15.00
* For overnight parking of vehicles, additional charges may apply.
The only exception is for visitors catching a movie at the K-Cineplex, hosted in the Mall of Cyprus.