Jun 30, 2016
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UK high street footfall to be monitored by "smart sensors"

Jun 30, 2016

The Local Data Company, which collects and analyses retail data in the UK, has teamed up with University College London and the Consumer Data Research Centre on a new project to study high street footfall.

Together they will deploy 1,000 ‘SmartStreetSensors’ in 81 towns and cities across the UK to study high street footfall patterns and impact. It's the most comprehensive study of footfall patterns across Great Britain to date. The aim is to "leverage LDC’s detailed knowledge of High Streets, past and present, and combine this with these unique footfall insights, as ultimately these factors determine the life or death of these places," the LDC says in a statement.

LDC developed and built its SmartStreetSensor in the UK, and partnered with UCL and the CDRC to provide the technology and a dashboard for the analysis and interpretation of the live feed of footfall data. The locations they will be placed in have been chosen to offer a wide geographical spread, differing demographic profiles and a range of town centre profiles. Measures from all the stores in a given centre will be made available for research use and available online.

Matthew Hopkinson, director at LDC, commented: “Footfall is the lifeblood of any location as without people you have no need for shops and without shops you have no community so understanding where, when and what type of footfall you have is critical to any stakeholder in retail and leisure places. The current generic footfall numbers do not provide the breadth or depth of coverage that retailers need to understand the performance of their shops. Pavement opportunity is what this data will show and that is what retailers and leisure operators can influence and therefore relate back to store sales."

This first project focuses on high streets, but the plan is to do similar studies on shopping centres and retail parks in the future.

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