Nursery Today magazine

Making sense of data

1,000 street sensors deployed in largest study of High Street footfall 

A thousand smart street sensors are to be deployed across the UK as part of the largest study into High Street footfall patterns and impacts.
The Local Data Company are working in partnership with University College London and their Consumer Data Research Centre in the project to measure live footfall in 81 towns and cities.

The locations have been chosen in order to offer a wide geographical spread, differing demographic profiles and a range of town centre profiles based on health and occupancy.

LDC have spent 18 months developing and testing their SmartStreetSensor to increase their understanding of data such as the closure of 1,043 High Street stores over 2015 by multiple retailer and leisure occupiers while 593 independent retailers opened shops.

Director Matthew Hopkinson said: “What does this mean? Is footfall really in decline or is it simply that the customer journey has changed? How is ‘pitch’ evolving across these towns and cities? Do High Street coffee shop brands really increase footfall? How do vacant units impact footfall? Which High Street types are suffering the most, or the least? The SmartStreetSensor project will provide valuable insight to enable these questions to be answered.”

Funded by the Economic And Social Research Council this project is focussed on High Streets, with shopping centres and retail parks to follow in future studies. LDC, UCL and CDRC have partnered to provide the technology and a dashboard for the analysis and interpretation of the live feed of footfall data.

The devices will use a unique calibration methodology to ensure the most accurate feed of data, ensures they only register people walking past a specific shop and thus reflect the opportunities shop owners have to influence their immediate High Street.

The data will then be sent anonymously, analysed and stored in LDC’s data warehouse before being presented through their highly visual live dashboards. Measures from all stores within a given centre will then be made available for research use, as well as through www.maps.crdc.ac.uk


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