BikeRoar community member Rick Kappler asked,
"What is a good way to convince a local grocery store to install a bike rack for bike parking?"
Our answer is below. Please post to share your advice.
It could be as easy as asking. Maybe they’re not aware it’s a need. Before you go into full lobbying mode, try identifying a location to recommend and then letting them know it would be really helpful to shop there if you had somewhere safe and secure to park your bike. Start with the store manager. Ask to speak with him and present your case. Walk him outside to show him where you think is a good spot it. If you can get him to agree it’s a good spot and it’s a need, you’re almost there. Establish a timeframe to follow up (a week or so), then do so. Will a full basket of groceries in hand, ask for the manager again and see how it’s going. At some point nail down a timeline and commitment for install and keep following up. Bike racks aren’t cheap and sometimes a property manager and others have to get involved - yes, some time and bureaucracy will get in the way.
If the manager isn’t receptive, and assuming it’s a chain store, ask for the regional / district manager. You may have to call corporate and let them know you’d like the RM/DM for the store. I’d avoid framing the store manager as ‘unreceptive’ or ‘negative’, but would instead shift the sentiment so that the RM/DM can be the hero - something like, "I can understand how the store manager might not appreciate how a bike rack is needed, but surely you as an RM/DM know how important and valuable it can be. If the RM/DM isn’t helping, either, then yes, run it up the flagpole at the corporate HQ. Always keep it friendly and reasonable.
As you can see, I haven’t even brought up your personal reasons or bike-centric reasons yet, but if and when those are needed, the few I would rattle off are: customer convenience, good business (eco-friendly, nice image), and safe parking for bikes - both for the bike parker and for other customers; a well-placed bike rack encourages use and bikes will end up there instead of in the way, parked at the entryway or around sign posts and shopping cart / trolley corrals.
What do you think? Post and share your advice below.