While I understand that providing change for parking meters can be somewhat annoying for downtown retailers, it boggles my mind that some flat out refuse to do so, even posting signs in their windows saying so. This is, if you ask me, a high water mark in “don’t-get-it-edness.” These people are your customers. They’re in the neighbourhood to spend money. Why would you shoo them away?
Retailers could argue that people come in looking for change and then go elsewhere to shop, but so what? That guy who just bought a pair of shoes from your store, or that lady who’s thinking about that leather bag might have gotten change from someone down the street. If that other shopkeeper hadn’t coughed up, your store would be empty now.
Retailers should think of themselves as part of a community of storekeepers and customers. When they provide change, customers can park and go shopping and some of that business will come to them.
What’s the alternative? Be an idiot by not providing change and end up sending the customers to the suburban malls where they don’t have to worry about parking meters.
Which makes more sense?
Whenever I see one of those “no change for parking meters” signs it makes me want to print up a bunch of stickers that say “…then no sales for your store.” At the very least, I tend to boycott such stores, and I encourage you to do so as well. But a silent boycott is not very effective, so I might just get those stickers printed up…