The footfall of shoppers and visitors in both Lytham and St. Anne’s town centres will soon be monitored through innovative technology courtesy of the recently appointed Place Informatics.
This comes following Fylde Council’s announcement that, following Council research into different methods to track ever-changing trends in consumer and visitor habits, Place Informatics have been appointed to provide visitor behaviour and footfall data. The Council say that Place Informatics requires no installation of any cameras or sensors. The data used is known as Smart Data, captured through the anonymous signal of mobile phone users visiting the town centres. This stores no Personally Identifiable Information (PIP) and is fully GDPR compliant.
Following on from the COVID pandemic and with the rise in internet shopping, the Council say they are keen to look at opportunities to support local retailers. Additionally, they wish to find ways that will provide a pleasant shopping experience and sense of community. To do this the Council explain that they need to ensure they have sufficient information available that will allow our towns the best chance of anticipating and spotting changes to usage and consumer habits over the coming years. More insightful footfall data can help to achieve this.
Fylde Council add that Place Informatics are highly experienced in this field and currently use mobility location data to calculate visitor behaviour patterns for over 2,300 town centres across the UK and will now be utilising this expertise in St Anne’s and Lytham. Kirkham town centre already has footfall monitors in place until March 2024 at which point it will also be possible to use this new technology.
The Council claim that the data will be a useful tool for enabling businesses, authorities and future investors to see how town centres, high streets and particular businesses are performing. Understanding how these visitors are behaving, what services they are utilising and where they are visiting from could offer the vital information needed to improve the fortunes of Lytham and St Anne’s. The information will be published quarterly on the Council’s www.investinfylde.co.uk website.
An example of a Place Informatics analysis of specific London data focusing on the impact to footfall as a consequence of the train strike is shown below.