You have installed a new public bicycle repair stand alongside your shopping centre recently as one of the forms of bicycle usage support. What was the main motive of this activity? How did people react to it?
Our shopping centre has been connected to a cycle path that de facto passes through our centre. This was one of the important factors in the decision making process. The decision came actually very fast. This path is widely used almost all year round and it is our aim and effort to provide extra service(s) to passing cyclists as well as the ones that come shopping or commute to work by bicycle.
“Green” or environmentally friendly transport to our centres in general is also one of the priority themes for our company IKEA Centres. So I do believe that the installed bicycle repair stand is only the beginning of our next activities and investments in this field.
And the reactions of people? Right from the beginning when the stand was installed we receive almost daily compliment reactions what is a big reward for us as well as motivation for similar activities.
You personally have a very close relationship to bicycles, haven’t you?
Besides the fact that I had been creating and organizing together with my actual life partner an international trade show BIKE Brno in the past, which was an important and one of the main parts of the SPORT Life fair, I use to ride my bicycle too. Although infrequently, actually I could ride more, but I ride. During my work at BIKE Brno trade show I met a lot of great people who had a very strong impact on my life attitudes.
We don’t have a system as well as technical equipment for these purposes (monitoring the number of customers that come shopping by bicycle) unfortunately. But I believe that their number will grow too. You will not load a big purchase on your bicycle most probably, for these you have to come by car or public transport, but also the small purchases count. Apart from the fact, we cooperate with local communities, what is also one of our long-term goals.
There have been working more than a thousand of people in the AVION Brno shopping centre. Do they use bicycles as a mean of transport to work?
Yes they do. Not all, of course, but I can confirm that a group of centre staff that commute by bicycles slowly grows. For example colleagues from the IKEA store, which is an integral part of our shopping centre, decided to build a new safe bicycle parking area. This investment was not only the result of our common long-term strategy, but of the growing demand from our employees for this service.