Fast And Slow Lanes Keep Foot Traffic Moving At This Mall

Fast And Slow Lanes Keep Foot Traffic Moving At This Mall

Shopping center in the UK trialled the lanes after a 10-year-old girl was "incredibly disappointed" by her visit.

Emma Hutchings
  • 4 june 2014

Meadowhall shopping center, located in Sheffield in the UK, is interested in listening to its customers and trying to make their visit more enjoyable. It recently introduced ‘Tell Meadowhall,’ which asked people to comment on their trip to the center and promised that their feedback would be used to improve the experience.

So when one young girl wrote to Meadowhall to complain about slow-walking people holding her up, they decided to trial a new type of lane in the shopping center. 10-year-old schoolgirl Chloe Nash-Lowe’s letter explained tht she was “incredibly disappointed” by her visit and being unable to get past people walking really slowly.

The walkways, divided by a broken white line, were labelled ‘Slow Lane’ on the left and ‘Fast Lane’ on the right, with bright pink and white circular signs on the floor. This simple solution to something that annoys many customers enabled fast walkers or those in a rush to speed through in the fast lane without getting frustrated by slow walkers in front of them. Equally, those enjoying a relaxing day out and doing a bit of window shopping could mosey along at a more leisurely pace.


The indoor lanes were installed to streamline foot traffic during peak hours in the shopping center and alleviate customer’s feelings of frustration. They were trialled recently and could emerge again if there is popular customer demand. On Meadowhall’s Facebook page, opinions on the lanes were split. Some wondered why a simple “Excuse me please” couldn’t be used when you need to get past someone, while others thought it was a great idea for dealing with people who dawdle or just suddenly stop in front of you with no warning.

The shopping center director Darren Pearce thanked young Chloe for writing in to share her views and said the Meadowhall team liked her idea very much. This trial shows what can be achieved when retailers listen to their customers and take on board their feedback in order to come up with ideas that could improve the service they offer.



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