Our Managing Director, Robert Horton recently spoke to Shopping Centre News about the benefits of Valet Parking services to shopping centres. Improving parking experiences in busy retail precincts improves customer experience, creates convenience and most of all, removes the frustration of finding a carspace at a busy shopping centre…

According to the NRMA Divvy Parking Smarter report, 58% of us worry about finding a park and a whooping 97% have avoided taking a trip because of perceived parking difficulties. Robert Horton, founder and Managing Director of First Class Valet explains how their business has partnered with clients on delivering services that improve parking at shopping centres.

If you analysed any shopping centre customer survey – the most complained aspect of any centre is ‘parking’. So if you take the above NRMA stats, and combine it with perception, how many customers are avoiding your centre because of parking?


Man using mobile in parking lot

“No ticket, no hassle” technology

Since 2014, First Class Valet have been working with clients on parking solutions. We work across many diverse industries and recognise retail as a critical industry affected where the constant issue of parking, leads to poor customer experiences.

According to research from PWC, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience, and with customer expectations at an all time high, most smart businesses are focused on their customer.

Smart Technology

Seamless sms technology heightens the customer experience

Many shopping centres are now differentiating themselves by improving their service to customers and adding more value. Originally, we provided only an impressive valet service. But as we have grown, we have partnered with our clients on delivering all types of services that improve parking at shopping centres. These include:

  • Australia’s only paperless and cloud based mobile valet operations technology
  • Valet parking operations including plans and processes
  • Temporary staff and labour hire to cover peak periods or leave
  • Contactless delivery and pick up services
  • Handsfree Shopping
  • Delivery of real and rich data using our technology
  • Pop up valet for events and peak periods

Man pushing trolley

Handsfree shopping, a competitive edge for any shopping centre

We work with shopping centre clients on creating a bespoke suite of services, as no problem or brief is the same. That’s why we love the diversity of the shopping centre industry. It’s always dynamic and evolving. We also partner with marketing teams to ensure that customers use the service by providing a suite of marketing materials and ideas to make their lives easier.

We partner with shopping centres to give them the tools to market the service offering

With Christmas less than six months away, we are already receiving requests to help during this crucially important retail period. More than ever, creating the competitive edge against your competition during Christmas will be critical.

Last year, hands-free shopping created a ‘wow’ factor at all our shopping centres. There’s nothing like a customer seeing their shopping packed neatly in their boot without having to carry the heavy bags around vast and long malls. Research shows every additional minute you can keep customers in your centres, it means an additional dollar of sales for your retailers. It’s a win-win-wow situation.

New hygiene protocol

New hygiene protocols make it safe for everyone

Although a number of our retail and hospitality sites closed in response to the COVID-19 restrictions, we remained fully operational at car dealerships – considered an essential service. We immediately actioned new hygiene protocols ensuring our staff, clients and their customers were safe. We also helped to facilitate new services for our clients such as seamless and hands-free car service deliveries and pick-up. We now believe these protocols will be around for the long-term and our focus is on ensuring that customers feel safe.

We established First Class Valet because we found Australia was suffering from a lack of international standards of service in valet parking. In the coming months we are finally at a stage where we can launch the First Class Valet Academy. The programs are designed to train people who want to attain an achievable qualification, that will broaden their employment opportunities. Our very own employees all go through our academic programs to ensure they are completely prepared and trained before they set foot on any driveway. We also work with many companies to train their staff and to give confidence and comfort that premium service is delivered with every customer interaction. Stay tuned!