It’s that time of year where shopping centres become some of the busiest places in our cities.
Shoppers flock to retail centres for Christmas gifts and end-of-year sales, which, after a turbulent year, is welcome news for retailers.
Keeping people moving seamlessly through centres while they go about their holiday shopping is critical during this period, and is key to keeping shoppers happy, generating business for retailers and transforming retail centres after months of lockdown into vibrant urban hubs.
KONE national service sales manager Samantha Kirby said that fending off major malfunctions played a huge role in creating a smooth and inspiring user experience.
“No one turns their minds to the lifts or escalators while they’re shopping, but when they go fail it becomes a catastrophe,” she said.
“The primary goal for any centre is for the public simply not to notice them”.
With KONE’s 24/7 Connected Services, equipment is continuously monitored for performance and risk analysis, so potential faults can be identified long before they become a problem.
Cloud-connected predictive maintenance provides full transparency, so centre management know exactly how equipment is running in real time and be alerted to any service needs so that they can get fixed before causing outages or costs for major repair.
Health and hygiene has undeniably become more important, particularly in high-traffic shopping centre environments. Pathogens can be transmitted via high touch surfaces such as escalator handrails, and shoppers are acutely aware of this.
People will use anything but their fingers to press elevator buttons and choose not to hold handrails on escalators.
“This poses a major safety risk when shoppers are consciously choosing not to hold the handrail on a crowded escalator, it only takes one person to fall over to cause a domino effect and injure a number of shoppers in one go,” Kirby said.
KONE Handrail Sanitiser Premium is able to sanitise escalator and travelator handrails on each revolution, using triple-cleaning technology, UV-C lighting and spray.
This leading-edge technology can be fitted to a wide range of escalators and autowalks in order to enhance the hygiene standards of existing spaces, along with safety display messaging, resulting in more relaxed shoppers.
Automation is playing a large role in maintaining health and hygiene in retail environments to create a completely touchless experience from carpark to shopfront.
Centres often already incorporate automatic doors in main entrances, but there are a number of other touchpoints that may still require employees to open doors by hand, such as restrooms.
KONE offers a comprehensive range of automatic doors and door openers that can be fitted to KONE and non-KONE equipment for an entirely contactless journey.
Keeping pace with capacities around the busy holiday period can be a challenge when the right plans aren’t in place, which can lead to bottlenecks and crossflows.
KONE People Flow Consulting is able to monitor capacities and people movement and plan the positioning of elevators and escalators so that centres can keep foot (and trolley) traffic moving.
This is an important part of the development stage of a centre, but also adds great value to existing centres, which can be fitted with modernisation solutions to remain purpose-designed and future-proof.
KONE’s smart people flow solutions provide a smooth shopping experience during the busiest time in the retail year—at every level.