How long to park in a grocery store parking lot depends on how long you spend shopping in the store. Once your purchase is finalized, you are expected to leave the parking lot immediately.
Also, some grocery store parking lots may hang a sign stipulating the amount of time your car should be parked in their parking lot.
It is completely normal for you to drive to a grocery store when you want to purchase something in the store, park in the store’s parking lot, get what you need from the store, come back out, into your car and then drive out of the parking lot to create space for other customers.
However, many people have grown the habit of abusing the purpose of grocery store parking lots. Random people just park in the store randomly even when they are not exactly customers and do not even have any business in the grocery store.
Employees working across the road, or just beside the grocery store, whose workplaces do not have enough space take advantage of grocery stores’ parking lots to park their cars. Some people who live nearby too, in apartments without a parking space do the same thing.
These practices cause grocery stores to lose customers because if a customer, who is a driver, intends to park his/her car to purchase an item in the store, and such a person doesn’t get a parking space, the customer simply drives off to another grocery store.
In light of this, how long can you park in a grocery store parking lot?
Can You Park in a Grocery Store Parking Lot?
Yes, you can park in a grocery store parking lot. As long as you are a customer of the grocery store, that is, you are in the store buying a grocery, or you have already bought a grocery and you have a receipt of it.
If this is the case, then it is completely legal to park in a grocery store parking lot. This is the main purpose of a grocery store’s parking lot; to allow employees and customers to park their cars while they work or buy groceries from the store.
However, can you park in a grocery store parking lot if you are not a customer? No, you can’t. Parking in a business’s parking lot when you are not patronizing such a business is not the right thing to do. You can do it and get away with it, but it should not be done.
If you abuse the grocery store’s parking lot, that is, you park there whilst not being a customer, and someone notices and informs the manager, your car can get towed in extreme cases.
From this, you should understand that grocery stores provide parking lots for a category of people to park their cars in.
This category of people are folks that have one business or the other with the store such as customers, employees, managers, and other relevant stakeholders.
Anyone who doesn’t fall under this category is not legally allowed to park in the grocery store’s parking lot, except if he or she has a written agreement that says otherwise.
How Long Can You Park in a Grocery Store Parking Lot?
This varies with location, real estate, and also the grocery store in question. Many times, the management of the grocery store hangs a signboard in the parking lot that states the hours you are allowed to park your car, as long as you have earned the right to park there at all.
These rules are set in place to make sure car owners don’t abandon their cars in the parking lot, and also to allow other customers or stakeholders to park their cars.
Before you park your car in a grocery store’s parking lot with no intention of shopping at the store, it is important to look out for the signs that stipulate how long you can park.
If you don’t see any sign of such, you should look around for a steward of the grocery store to ask how long you can park there.
It is detrimental to simply assume that you can park there for long hours simply because you didn’t see any signs.
Some grocery stores clearly state that as a customer, you can only park your car for a maximum of two hours after purchasing from their store, and some don’t have any restrictions.
How long you can park in a grocery store’s parking lot depends completely on the management of the grocery store.
I saw a video of a store covered by a news agency where once you park your car and left without entering the store, your car will be towed immediately.
The towing van was employed by the store owner. So, he was always around monitoring who will park and leave. In less than 2 minutes, your car will be towed, and once your car is towed, you will have to pay money for them to release your car.
So, it’s better you are watchful anytime you wish to park in a grocery store with no intention of making any purchase from them.
Remember that the rule concerning how long to park in a grocery store parking lot is not the same as the speed limit in a parking lot. However, all rules must be obeyed to avoid landing yourself in a very serious problem.
When Should You Park in a Grocery Store Parking Lot?
There are many times when you are allowed or authorized to park in a grocery store parking lot.
An Employee During Working Hours
As an employee of the grocery store, you are authorized to park in the grocery store parking lot within the stipulated working hours that you are expected to work in the establishment.
This is because you are a relevant stakeholder of the grocery store, and part of your benefits as an employee is parking in the parking lot of the store.
This increases your effectiveness as an employee since you won’t have any thoughts about where or where not to park your car.
A Customer During Patronage
A customer that wants to patronize the store is also authorized to park in the grocery store’s parking lot during the time of patronage.
This is the primary reason why grocery stores have parking lots in the first place. To enable customers the space to park their cars when they want to purchase groceries in their store.
A customer who doesn’t get a parking space at a grocery store for one reason or the other will most likely drive away to another grocery store, leaving the latter with the unaccounted customer, unaccounted revenue.
Business Partners During Meeting Hours
Sometimes, business partners can visit the store to hold meetings with the manager of the grocery store. A person in this category can park his vehicle in the grocery store’s parking lot even though he isn’t a customer or an employee.
On rare occasions, other people have a legal right in form of a written document from the court that permits them to park their cars in a grocery store parking lot.
These people might be neighbors, or they are affiliated one way or another to the grocery store itself or the real estate the grocery store is sitting on.
When Should You Not Park in a Grocery Store Parking Lot?
You should not park in a grocery store parking lot if you are not a customer, an employee, or if you don’t have any right to do so.
A lot of people abuse the parking lots of grocery stores and when caught, they can face consequences such as warnings, fines, getting parking tickets, and in worse cases, they can have their cars towed, only to go and retrieve them with huge sums.
An Employee after Working Hours
Except otherwise stated by the management, an employee is not expected to park in the grocery store’s parking lot after working hours when his car is required to be there. Such behavior might attract queries and other disciplinary actions.
A Customer Long After Patronage
Different grocery stores have different policies for how long a customer’s vehicle is expected to remain parked in the parking lot after patronage. A customer is not supposed to park there long after the stipulated parking hours.
A Random Individual Without Stakes in the Business
If you are a random individual who is neither a customer, employee, nor stakeholder of any kind is not expected, in any way, and at any time to park his vehicle in a grocery store’s parking lot.
It is important to note that different grocery stores and even the neighborhoods they are located in have different rules for how long you can park in a grocery store parking lot. You should find out what is applicable to which parking lot before you go ahead to park there.
Also, you should know that if you are not a customer of a grocery store, an employee working in the store, or a stakeholder affiliated one way or the other to the store, parking in the grocery store parking lot at all, talk less of for longer hours is not the right thing to do, and such behaviors can attract severe consequences.