Whole Foods Hits the Spot, But May See Parking Woes

Lincoln, Neb.-- The shopping experience begins as early as the parking lot.

And Renee DeMan, store team leader at the new Whole Foods that opened Wednesday, knows it.

"Parking was on our radar probably second or third after hiring," DeMan said.

"You know, how are we going to make this work for our customers?"

Whole Foods shares a parking lot with Lincoln Public Schools, Jos A. Bank, Massage Envy, Chipotle and Sleep Number.

During the work week, the lot is already fairly packed due to all the LPS employees, and the opening of Whole Foods means parking may come at a premium.

"What we don't want to have happen is a customer come in, search for parking," DeMan said, "and can't find any parking and they just pull out."

Massage Envy employees said parking Wednesday was awful. They even wondered if it'd be possible to get designated spots for their customers.

But most customers 10/11 spoke with disagreed about the parking, and said their overall experience couldn't have been better.

"Parking was fine," Samantha Sanderson, a customer, said.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a lot but we didn't have any problems."

Regardless, Whole Foods is attacking the problem head on by offering a shuttle service to and from the David's Bridal across O St. at Gateway Mall.

It's free and available to customers, but according to DeMan, the shuttle is primarily being used to take their employees and LPS' employees to and from cars.

DeMan said they're parking across the street to help free up spots in the lot.

DeMan said the shuttle will last as long as they need it to, and said they'll continue to monitor the traffic in coming weeks.

Some at LPS and DeMan believe that after a few weeks the traffic should settle down.

Parking is also expected to be significantly better on the weekends when most LPS employees aren't at work.

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