Sat, Mar 30, 2002 - Page 17 News List

Core Pacific City Mall shifts gears on parking fees

By Annabel Lue  /  STAFF REPORTER

Complaints over high parking fees have spurred Taiwan's largest mall to slash its rates to attract customers.

Core Pacific City Mall (京華城) last week dropped weekday parking prices from NT$120 an hour to NT$50 an hour.

A Core Pacific official admitted customers have been fuming over their parking charges.

"Many customers complained the price is too high compared with other parking lots in Taipei, making them reluctant to come here," said the mall's spokesman Juan Hsin-nang (阮信囊).

"So starting from last week we cut our weekday parking prices to NT$50 an hour from 10am to10pm," Juan said.

On weekends, parking fees are still high, with the mall charging NT$100 an hour from 10am to 10pm.

"We think the mall's parking fees are too high and are scaring customers away," Cheng Li-feng (程立峰), general manager of the mall's Cinemark Theater complex, told the Taipei Times yesterday.

Cheng has reason to be concerned since Cinemark has 2,100 seats scattered across six theaters in the 5-month old mall.

The parking issue is important to Core Pacific, as its semi-isolated location in a residential area on Pateh Road is far from downtown Taipei and the MRT system.

Core Pacific hopes the new pricing strategy will help boost customers.

"Mall traffic is not as good as during our opening in November of last year," Juan said.

On average, Core Pacific City attracts about 100,000 visitors per day, while that figure reached 300,000 in November last year, Juan said.

"Customers generate more customers as people like to shop where other people go," said Bei Lien-ti (別蓮蒂), associate professor of business administration at National Chengchi University.

She said Core Pacific has to transform its neighborhood into another shopping district or else it will be difficult for the mall to fend off competition from the Hsinyi district and Chunghsiao E Road.

Cinemark is offering its own incentive to boost sales.

"Every Thursday night is ladies' night. All female customers can purchase a movie ticket -- originally priced at NT$280 -- for NT$190," Cheng said.

The event will run through the end of April.

Cheng said ladies' night has been a hit and has successfully stolen customers from Warner Village and other theaters.

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